March 15, 2013

Review Road Policy, Wafula asks Gov’t

Wafula Oguttu
Wafula Oguttu

Wafula Ogutu, the shadow works minister wants government to review the road policy especially on costing and choice of roads.

Ogutu, the Bukooli MP says government needs to work on economic roads linking them to good roads instead of what he called political roads for votes.

He adds that there is need for government to operationalise the Road Fund with money collected through fuel sales.

In the financial year 2009/2010, government funded roads at a cost of one trillion shillings annually.  In 2011, Engineer John Nasasira, the then minister of works, announced that government had obtained funds from the World Bank to tarmac 10,000 kilometers of roads.

Six months later, the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) announced that work was starting. However, Ogutu says currently most roads have what he called mini lakes in reference to sharp and deep potholes which are causing road accidents. The 2011 police report places road accidents at 3,343 per year.

Ogutu cites some of the bad roads in the country as Kyenjojo-Hoima-Masindi road, Rukungiri-Kanungu, Kamuli-Jinja, Tororo- Mbale-Soroti, Mbale- Namalu- Nakapiripirit and Mukono-Buikwe -Katosi road.

During the reading of the 2012/2013 financial year budget, Finance Minister Maria Kiwanuka announced to Parliament that government was in advanced stages of funding construction of priority roads.

Kiwanuka stated that rehabilitation and expansion of the road network would be with special emphasis on roads in agricultural areas and export routes.

The Finance Minister also proposed to increase the allocation to the Works and Transport sector to 1.651trillion in the 2013/2014 financial year from1.291 trillion in the year ending June 30 2013.

Wafula claims that since 2009 government has spent almost five trillion shillings and it is time to show accountability considering that there are many roads that are still not done.

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