A World Bank Team, is in Eastern Uganda, conducting field inspections of various roads under construction funded under USMID.

The Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development is a $360M 5 year facility targeting improving roads in 22 municipalities and cities as well as 11 refugee host districts.

Martin Onyanch Olaa, the Team Leader of the Task Force on USMID at the World Bank says expediting the slow pace of construction works should be done by implementing units in order to support value for money.

“We have inspected ongoing works across several kilometres which are being constructed here in Mbale City. But we need standard work and which is safety for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists,” Olaa stressed.

Mbale City in Eastern Uganda is constructing 19km under a funding line worth UGX 41 Billion from USMID under the ongoing phase.

World Bank Team on the USMID task force inspect Mbale City roads under construction.

Dr Isaac Mutenyo, the Programme Coordinator of USMID says “Mbale has recorded some progress, particularly in as far as where we are coming from is concerned.”

“The oncoming mid term review by the World Bank is set to enable us review out outcomes against earlier targets set out,” Dr Mutenyo says.

“We are already engaging through the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Devt, to ensure such infrastructure undertakings are sustained.”

This was during the field inspections of the different road sections in Mbale City, Thursday May 12.

The World Bank USMID TaskTeam are in Uganda until May 20, in a national assessment of the progress of the $360M infrastructure undertakings.

Among others, USMID seeks to enhance better mobility in urban centres, improve business environment among others.

Mabonga David, a transporter in Mbale asked that the road construction works in Mbale be concluded quickly in order to ease their cost of doing business.

“A truck can take for ever to move from one location to another . With high costs of fuel, we would like to use a shorter time on the roads,” Mabonga says

David Kyasanku, Mbale City Clerk promised that all key outstanding aspect of the ongoing construction works would be addressed as soon as possible.

World Bank says the investment menu on the USMID infrastructure projects, requires harmonizing of designs which should addres variations in standards and costs.

Contractors and consultants are urged to ensure that the quality of work is done according to standards as approved.

“Our audits are also indicating that timeframes are not being adhered too. There is need for value for money,” said the World Bank Team on the USMID task force.

Integrity concerns have also come out on 1st leg of the ongoing field inspections of the different road projects by the World Bank.

The lender noted that mobilisation of stakeholders need to sustain so as to keep the project cycles on course.

Lugazi, Jinja, Mbale and Tororo are on this week’s leg of Usmid field inspection by the World Bank Task force; ahead of the Mid Term Review next week in Kampala.

Kungu Al-Mahadi Adam is a Ugandan Journalist with passion for current African affairs.

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