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UNRA at 6 years

By Vision Reporter

Added 1st July 2014 12:58 PM

The marriage between Uganda and Japan, spanning over 50-years, will only soar with yet a new born child when the construction of the new Nile bridge kicks off today.

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The marriage between Uganda and Japan, spanning over 50-years, will only soar with yet a new born child when the construction of the new Nile bridge kicks off today.

New Nile bridge to boost tourism 

The marriage between Uganda and Japan, spanning over 50-years, will only soar with yet a new born child when the construction of the new Nile bridge kicks off  today.

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UNRA shifts focus to primary growth sectors

By Joel Ogwang When UNRA was operationalised on July1, 2008, its focus was to develop the export corridors to facilitate the evacuation of exports and repatriation of imports intended to improve Uganda’s economic wealth. Under this programme, the northern corridor route from Malaba- Busia- Katuna –Mbarara was developed, as did the rehabilitation of Kawempe- Kafu and Gulu- Nimule.

UNRA is working on the Tororo- Mbale- Soroti, Lira- Kamdini and Vura- Arua- Oraba roads. As well, north-eastern roads with the upgrade from gravel to paved standards of the Moroto- Nakapiripirit road to openup Karamoja to the entire country. “The strategy was to have a core road network that can sustain the supply chain of business in Uganda,” notes Eng. David Luyimbazi, the UNRA director planning.

Meeting NDP targets

In line with meeting the objectives of the National Development Plan (NDP), UNRA has shifted focus to the primary growth sectors comprising tourism, oil & gas and agriculture.

Most of the programmes it is rolling out currently are focusing on facilitating the development of the primary growth sectors like the Mukono- Kyetume- Katosi, Mpigi- Kanoni- Sembabule- Villa Maria, Olwiyo- Gulu- Kitgum- Musingo, Mubende- Kakumiro- Kagadi, Hoima-Kaiso- Tonya, Kigumba- Bulima- Kabwoya- Kyenjojo, Musita- Lumino- Majanji/ Busia, Masaka- Bukakata and Tirinyi- Palisa- Kumi, all for upgrade. These roads involve the construction of four expressways and two circular roads, including the Kampala-Entebbe expressway, Kampala-Jinja expressway, Kampala-Bombo expressway and Kampala- Mpigi expressway.

The circular roads include; completion of the widening of the Kampala Northern Bypass (KNB) in the second phase and construction of an outer- belt way beginning from Seeta- Namugongo- Kyaliwajjala- Kira- Kasangati- Mattugga, Buloba, Nsangi and Kampala- Entebbe.

There is a programme to facilitate the exploitation of oil & gas resources in the Albertine region and supporting the development of emerging infrastructure because roads are not a sustainable solution to many bulk goods. Thus, the long-term solution is the reincarnation of railway transport but, given the poor condition of the railway infrastructure largely due to Uganda’s chaotic history as well as the long time it will take to fix, roads have to be the interim solution, notes Luyimbazi. “So as we use roads as intermediate solution, we have to plan to protect the (roads) infrastructure from imminent failure due to very large cargo that would move on roads to develop cities, oil areas and construct Karuma, Isimba and other hydro-electricity dams,” he says.

“We are working on it with the European Union (EU) by developing a master plan that supports oil exploration and development in the short to medium term and railway transport in the long term.”

UNRA acting executive director, Kimeze Ssebbugga shares a light moment with
his URF counterpart, Eng. Dr. Michael Odongo at the works ministry offices

Development of oil roads

Presently, Uganda has four routes that are available for delivering equipment for the construction of 60,000 barrels per day oil refinery to cost $2.5b in the oil-rich Lake Albertine rift valley basin.

They include Kampala- Hoima, Kampala- Kafu- Masindi- Hoima, Tororo- Mbale- Soroti- Kamdini- Kafu- Hoima and the Masaka- Mbarara- Ibanda- Fort Portal- Kyenjojo. All these roads, according to Luyimbazi, are being looked at as strategic routes for oil development. “We have a programme that ensures the rehabilitation and maintenance in the short to medium term with committed financing,” he says.

Works on other oil roads

With the construction the 92km Hoima- Kaiso-Tonya road contracted to Kolin Construction Company in 2012 nearing completion, plans are underway to develop other roads in the oil production regions. The 103km Fort Portal- Bundibugyo road, corridor used to carry equipment to the Albertine region, is another link critical to fast-tracking oil and gas production. Completed by CiCO, a Chinese firm, in March 2014, works on the $100m road were funded by the African Development Bank, lasting 36 months

.A new bridge was also built connecting Uganda to Eastern Congo at Lamia. UNRA is, also, in the process of procuring a contractor to develop the 135km Kigumba- Masindi- Hoima- Bulima- Kabwoya road funded by ADB. Currently, bids are under evaluation and will be completed and award the contract by May 2014. Procurement of a contractor for the Kyenjojo- Kabwoya (105km) road, funded by the World Bank and Government, are also in advanced stage. Bids will soon be submitted.


Abubaker Technical Services and General Supplies Ltd

Hared Petroleum Limited

Gauff Consultants (U) Ltd


UNRA at 6 years

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