Kitgum, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Government has released additional 2.7 billion shillings to Kitgum Municipal Council under the Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructural Development [USMID] programme.
Emmanuel Banya, the Kitgum Municipal Council Town Clerk told Uganda Radio Network in an interview on Friday that the money is meant to aid implementation of the first phase of infrastructural development this financial year.
He says the release is part of 8.3 billion shillings the municipality is expected to receive quarterly from government this financial year.
Already the Ministry of Lands Housing and Urban Development has finalized the procurement of a consultancy firm that will undertake designing of selected roads within Kitgum municipality.
Comptran Engineering & Planning Associates, a consultancy firm from Ghana, according municipal officials are expected to start work by next week.
Early last year, Kitgum municipal council received 6.2 billion shillings for Infrastructure Component of the USMID project.
However, the funds largely remained unspent at the municipal accounts before government returned it to single treasury account in Bank of Uganda, raising queries from a section of municipal council members.
But Banya says the money was returned because there was no project and notes that it’s saved and still in the names of Kitgum municipal council.
He says unlike in the past were respective municipalities hold USMID money in commercial bank accounts, the rules have changed for all money to be held at single treasury accounts in bank of Uganda.
The municipal council also recently procured consultants for property valuation and physical planning within the municipality under the physical planning component of the USMID project.
Geoffrey Toolit, the Central Division LCIII Chairperson however says little effort is being done by the municipal council officials to update the local leaders on progress of the USMID project.
He says although they have welcomed the project whole heartedly and ready to support it as local leaders, little information on the multi-billion project has caught up their efforts to inform locals in their areas.
“I am advocating that the municipal council officials constantly keep us updated on this project so that we are in good position to inform our people. To date I only heard that two roads will be constructed in my area but nothing formal came from the municipal council officials,” he says.
Three kilometres stretch of roads within the municipality have so far been selected for construction under the project. Under the same project, pager river banks will be beautified and turned into recreational ground and construction of a modern bus terminal.