Kampala, Uganda | Ian Katusiime | The upgrading of the 42km Moroto-Lokitanyala road from gravel to bituminous standard has been billed as a boon for regional integration. The road from Moroto town skirting deep into Karamoja up to the Uganda Kenya border has been hailed as a timely intervention for boosting trade and transport between the two countries. It also has a link to the Kapchorwa Suam road that was recently completed.
MPs on the Physical Infrastructure Committee (PIC) toured the road as they traversed roads in the north-eastern part of the country. Using the Soroti-Akisim-Moroto road, the MPs made a stopover in Soroti where they inspected the town roads and Soroti university roads that UNRA constructed. The next stop for the MPs was the Komolo bridge. This new bridge replaced the one that was previously built in 1958. The new bridge enables the connectivity between Moroto and Mbale, ensuring the smooth flow of trade between the two regions.
The upgrading of the road will reduce vehicle operating costs and improve social services delivery and trading opportunities. Over the last 24 years, Ugandan exports to Kenya have steadily increased at an annualized rate of 12.7 percent-up from US$16.1 million in 1995 to US$282 million in 2019 — mainly due to increased exports of maize, milk, and sugar. Likewise, Uganda is Kenya’s leading export destination in Africa, accounting for 28.6 percent of Kenya’s total exports on the continent in 2019. Key Kenyan exports to Uganda include refined petroleum, palm oil, iron, and salt. The Moroto-Lokitanyala road will enhance and grow trade between Uganda and Kenya by providing a new access route for goods and services between the two nations, “We are committed to supporting Government of Uganda by constructing world class roads,” Allen Kagina, UNRA executive director said.