By Francis Emorut
Government has earmarked $120m (about sh304.2b) to tarmac the Tirinyi-Pallisa-Kumi and Pallisa- Kamonkoli roads.
According the state minister for finance planning and economic development, Matia Kasaija the upgrading of the road will be financed by Islamic Development Bank.
Kasaija told MPs that the 111.25km road is part of the national road network located in eastern Uganda.
He said the upgraded roads will provide improved and safe roadway between the major activity areas on the national economic corridor.
The project will also eliminate traffic obstacles and foster new development and employment opportunities for the local population.
He pointed out that the project is in line with National Development Plan which sets out development priorities.
The said roads are instrumental for the transportation of maize, sweetpotatoes, cassava and main cash crop cotton to trading centres.
The minister said the Government will also finance the roads in a joint venture with the Islamic Development Bank.
He informed the lawmakers that the implementation of the road project will last four years starting January 2014.
Kasaija outlined the benefits of the project accruing to road users as easy access of over 1m inhabitants living in the vicinity of the road corridor and the market places, generation of economic activities in the project areas and beyond, increased trade and tourism as the road will reduce time of travel.
Other benefits are creation of 1000 jobs for the local communities, improved regional and national connectivity and construction of new houses.
The residents of Pallisa welcomed the government’s project saying it will cause development in the area.
“It’s a shot in the arm that will foster development,” Francis Okiror, the district information officer said.
He said when tarmacked the road that links to Teso and Lango sub-regions will be shorter than passing through Mbale.
Pulisikira Nakirya a resident of the area said transportation costs will reduce between Pallisa and Tirinyi if the road is tarmacked.
The residents are paying sh10, 000 to ply Tirinyi-Pallisa road.
“Pregnant women will be transported faster to the health centres to deliver,” Jenipher Sano said.