Sembabule, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Leaders in Arua have decried the poor service delivery at the zonal lands office. In 2018 the Ministry of Sembabule district local government has received Shilling 540million to cater for the repair of community access roads in the district. The money is part of a special grant from the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries-MAIF for the rehabilitation of agricultural access roads in food processing areas under the Labor Saving Technologies and Mechanization program.
Steven Katwire, the Senior Agricultural Engineer in the Ministry of Agriculture says that the money has been allocated in response to a request by the district authorities who sought support towards repairing some of the community access roads in the area that are in bad shape. Katwire notes that the funds have been earmarked to repair roads that connect to areas with high agricultural production levels.
“Labor Saving and Technologies Program at MAAIF will take over the whole project because we have all the engineers and other tools to see this project done,” he said while commissioning the project works on Friday.
Engineer Konde Tamale, the Sembabule District Principal Engineer indicates that the grant is a big relief to the area, adding that they are currently struggling to carry out the required road maintenance given the meagre resources available. “The district budget for the road fund is Shillings 900 million for a full year. But this can hardly do much as compared to the need,” he observed.
Konde noted that their technical committee has identified Kyabi-Kyabaleesa and Kanoni-Katusi-Kyamenya roads in Rugushuulu Sub County measuring 21.7 and 14kilometers respectively for repair under the program. He asked the residents to surrender part of their land to allow the contractor to expand the road once the works begin this week.
“Some part of these two roads will require the contractor to pull down some fences to expand the road width e to make them more motorable than they are apparently,” he noted.
Sam Kahamba Kuteesa, the Foreign Affairs Minister and Mawogola North County Member of Parliament, says that the project is a grand opportunity for the local farmers who have grappling with the poor road network in their areas.
He challenged the residents in the benefiting villages to leverage the opportunity of the improved roads to increase their productivity because of improved transport. Henry Mugume and Patrick Rukundo, residents of Kyabi village welcomed the project, saying the poor road network had denied them access to the market, which affects their earnings.
“Some of us had stopped milking because we had no way to reach the main road or towns where we could fetch some reasonable price for our produce. Cars could hardly access our farms hence suffering exploitation by middlemen,” Mugume said.