By Julius Businge
Kalangala Infrastructure Services (KIS) has started construction of the 66km main Bugala Island road as part of the four major projects aimed at opening up the island to major trading centres across the country.
The other components under the KIS project include providing ferry transport services, water supply and power generation. Works on all these projects have started and are expected to be done by June 2014.
KIS is a private firm and was incorporated in May 2006 and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of InfraCo, a limited liability company registered in Britain.
Speaking at the ground breaking of the works in Bulabana, Kalangala on July 16, KIS’s Managing Director John Opiro said this arrangement is under a public private partnership (PPP) where KIS will invest and maintain the infrastructure for 15 years and thereafter, government will pay back the money at a yet to be known interest rate. Already a modern ferry, MV Pearl is working from Bukakata Island to Luku doing five rounds a day. “Passengers are not charged any coin, because government pledged to pay,” Opiro said, adding a second ferry will be brought next year to support MV Pearl.
The road is being constructed by SpenCon, a Ugandan civil contractor with considerable experience in large scale road works.
Opiro said the road is expected to improve the transport situation and support economic activities on the island. The Island, which according to district leaders, was neglected by the government has three major economic activities that is; oil palm growing spearheaded by BIDCO, an oil vegetable investment firm, fishing along the shores of lake Victoria and tourism among other small economic activities.
The road runs from Luku where MV Pearl ferry docks, through Kalangala town, to the Southern tip township called Mulabana. It will be expanded and upgraded to a class B gravel road there by qualifying for regular maintenance as a national road by the central government.
Works Minister, John Byabagambi, who was Chief Guest, said government is fully committed to support the project so as to develop the island. He said the project was conceived by government to support the infrastructure needs of Kalangala district and also boost the BIDCO palm oil project.
“Government is desirous to encourage private sector involvement in the delivery of these projects,” he said, adding in the near future the main road shall be upgraded to tarmac.
Kalangala Infrastructure Services starts works on Bugala Island road