Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Lira municipality has recorded a slight increase in local revenues, thanks to the improved infrastructure under the Uganda Support to Municipality Infrastructure Development- USMID project.
The Project, funded by the World Bank has seen key infrastructural installations set up. Roads in the Central Business District have been tarmacked, with covered lined and open lined drains, paved pedestrian walkways, cycle lanes, solar street lights, and trash cans.
The project is aimed at expanding urban infrastructure and enhancing the capacity of the selected municipal local governments to generate own sources of revenues, improve urban planning, and strengthen financial management, procurement, environmental and social systems.
In Lira Municipality, the project has seen the upgrade and changed face of Oyite Ojok lane, Maruzi, Aduku road, Kwania, and Imat Miria, Obote Avenue, Soroti, Rwot Aler, Aroma Lane, the beautification of Lira Main Roundabout and the Coronation Park.
Lira Municipality Deputy Town Clerk Patrick Ogweng said the new look of the central business district has expanded business centers as more businesses have opened up in the outskirts that were hitherto isolated. He says that the expansion has resulted into increased revenues for the municipality.
Lira Municipality collected over 2.3 billion Shillings during the 2016/2017 financial years, up from about 1.8 billion Shillings that was collected during the 2015 and 2016 financial year. The municipality again recorded over 2.3 billion shillings in revenue collection during the 2017/2018 financial year.
Before USMID, Lira Municipality had been recording low revenue collection figures ranging between 1.5 and 1.8 billion Shillings every financial year. Ogweng said they have since used part of the money collected in revenue to install street lights in areas that were not covered by USMID and also used it to step up garbage collection.
Areas like Cuk Atat, Oyite Ojok Lane, Oyam road that were occupied by street children with deteriorated night security have since turned into prominent commercial centers operating all night through.
Boniface Okello, a trader in Lira town wants now all the major roads upgraded and interlinked. Okello said who operates a restaurant along Oyite Ojok lane said his business has since improved with more customers and better rates.
Harriet Adong Okello, 57, said her rentals along Kwania road have since increased due to high demand. Before the upgraded, Adong was renting out her medium sized commercial rooms at Pipe Trading Centre along Kwania road at 150, 000 Shillings per month. Now she is charging between 300,000 and 400,000 Shillings.
Lira Municipality is also set to receive more than 55 billion Shillings from World Bank to finance tarmacking of Olwol, Noteber, Obangakene, Oyam, Bala, and Aputi roads. It will also work on boundary stretching from Corner Kamdini in Teso Bar suburb to Lango College Junction, Independent road stretching from Kitgum Highway through Corner Kamdini, Lira Referral Hospital to Ayer road within town.