Government has commissioned a network of about 150kms of roads in Buliisa and Hoima districts.
The roads, which were rehabilitated to first class gravel at a cost of Shs26b, are intended to facilitate movement in Bunyoro Sub-region as the government moves to explore oil.
The Minister for Lands, Ms Beti Kamya, while launching the roads in Buliisa on April 8 and Hoima on April 9, said the projects are a testimony of government's commitment towards equitable sharing of the oil resource.
"Today, we are witnessing the fruits of the efforts of the NRM government that has promised and delivered a transformed Albertine region, especially in the districts of Hoima and Buliisa. Programmes such as the Albertine Region Sustainable Development Projects (ARSDP) are conceived by yourselves but funded by the government and our development partners," she said.
The roads were rehabilitated under the ARSDP project that is funded by the World Bank.
In Buliisa, the minister commissioned three roads totalling to 31.3kms that were rehabilitated by M/S GreyStone Investments Limited. In Hoima, she commissioned eight roads totalling 118.1kms that were rehabilitated by M/S Abubaker Technical services Limited. Both contractors are Ugandan.
Ms Kamya urged the people to utilise the roads for development.
"Today's function is a great milestone for the region because you have achieved an 80 per cent share of rural population with access to an all-season road and 55 per cent of the women population have direct benefit from this," she said.
The minister urged the district leadership to start budgeting for maintenance of the roads.
"Let us inculcate a culture of maintenance so that we do not lose such good infrastructure," Ms Kamya said.
Under the ARSDP project, government is also constructing Biiso Market in Buliisa, Kabaale Market in Hoima and Buhuka Market in Kikuube district. Ms Kamya promised to return in June to commission the markets and close the ARSDP project.
The ARSDP project was initiated to promote sustainable and balanced development of the Albertine region, with an objective of improving access to infrastructure, markets, services and skills development. The $145 million project that started in December 2015 is set for closure in June. The residents welcomed the new roads.
"I can move from here to Wanseko Market easily and sell my produce; we can prepare pancakes, fried fish or sugar cane and station it along these busy roads and sell to passers-by and get some money," Mr Herbert Bagarukayo Kintaboine, a resident of Kibambura Village in Ngwedo Sub-county, Buliisa District, said.
He added: "Whenever it rained, the road used to flood; we are confident now that it will improve our movement since there are now enough culverts."
The Buliisa District Woman MP, Ms Norah Bigirwa Nyendwoha, called for sustainable use of the roads. Buliisa County MP Stephen Mukitale urged the Uganda National Roads Authority to take up the maintenance of the new roads, saying the district does not have enough funds.
In Hoima, Bugahya County MP Pius Wakabi, urged the contractor to fix enough humps at busy sections of the roads to avoid accidents.
"Basing on weather and terrain challenges, I can say the job has been well done. I, however, urge the contractor to consider fixing humps at trading centres and more culverts where needed as soon as possible as pointed out by the community members to avoid accidents," he said.
The road network in Buliisa is expected to enhance access to the Tilenga oil well managed by Total E&amp;amp;amp;P while in Hoima, the road network connects people of Buhanika, Kyabigambire, Kigorobya, Kitoba and Buseruka to Hoima City and Kabaale Industrial Park.
In Buliisa, the rehabilitated roads are Biiso-Nyeramya-Waaki, Buliisa-Bugana and Ngwedo-Bikongoro-Ndandamire, which have been upgraded to first class gravel. Another 7kms of roads is being rehabilitated in Bulisa Town Council.
Those upgraded in Hoima are Kihombya-Kyarubanga-Bukerenge, Kiboirya-Iseisa-Buhamba, Kitoba-Icuukira-Kigorobya, Kitoba-Kyabasengya-Kiboijana, Waaki-Kiryabutuzi-Mparangasi, Bulindi-Waaki-Dwoli, Kyakapeeya-Kisiita-Kibaire and Kafo-Kisambya-Wagesa-Buraru.
Source: The Monitor