By Hudson Apunyo
Lira Municipal Council on Tuesday afternoon signed a contract with a Chinese firm to upgrade six urban roads at cost of sh10.8bn under the World Bank’s five-year Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development Project (USMID).
The 12-month contract was signed between the Town Clerk, Daniel Christopher Kawesi and the country Manager of China Hunan International Cooperation Group Co. Ltd, Zhou Fudong.
Awangemola Road commonly known as Produce Lane, one of the roads to be worked on. PHOTOS/Hudson Apunyo
This is the first phase of a special instrument known as the Program-for-Results or PforR, which is an innovative new financing instrument for the World Bank’s client countries that links the disbursement of funds directly to the delivery of defined results.
It is part of the approved International Development Association (IDA) credit of US$150m to finance urban infrastructure and improve service delivery in 14 municipalities in the country.
The project is expected to expand urban infrastructure and enhance the capacity of the 14 municipal local governments to generate own source revenues, improve urban planning, and strengthen financial management, procurement, environmental and social systems.
Zhou Fudong and Lira Municipality Town clerk Christopher Kawesi during the contract signing ceremony in the Town clerk's office Tuesday afternoon
Kawesi said this exercise has been long due worth the wait. The fund was approved in March last year but this implementation delayed.
“I am very optimistic the contractor we have got is going to do us a very good job given his wide experience,” the Town clerk said.
He appealed to the people of Lira Municipal council to support the endeavor because it’s a performance- for-result project.
“We shall attract more resources if the first phase of the project is executed properly.”
Deputy Mayor Johnson Okwir D'Ngai receiving the contract document from the China Hunan International Cooperation Group Co. Ltd country manager Mr. Zhou Fudong during the contract signing ceremony in the Town clerk's office Tuesday afternoon
The town clerk emphasised that the first phase is costing sh10bn and over the five-year period, expects up to sh25bn
“Am very sure if we can attract all this money into Lira Municipal Council, we are going to change the face of this town.”
Zhou Fudong said quality and time is very important to their company. He said the company will transfer equipment in Gulu to Lira to help complete the work in time.
“With cooperation from the consultant and the employee (Lira Municipality), we shall finish the work successfully,” he said.
Deputy Mayor Johnson Okwir D'Ngai who witnessed the signing ceremony expressed his gratitude over the contract award to an experienced Chinese firm.
Okwir appealed to the people of Lira town to support the project.
The ceremony was witnessed by Municipal Engineer David Bagenda and his assistant Anthony Okucu.