DELAYED FUNDING CRIPPLES KABAROLE INDUSTRIAL PARK
The proposed Kabarole Agro-industrial Park has failed to take off because of the delayed release of funds for infrastructure development. According to the news report by Uganda Radio Network, no tangible work has taken place on a 500-acre industrial park project located in Kyembogo village Busoro Sub County, despite of its launch in September last year by the National Coordinator Operation Wealth Creation Gen Salim Saleh.
Richard Rwabuhinga, the Kabarole District LC V Chairperson, says they need at least Shs2bn to work on roads, extend high voltage electricity, water and other preliminary services to the area. He says they requested for the money under the Rwenzori Development plan budget worth Shs0700bn but were told they can only receive it in the next financial year. Rwabuhinga says that as a district, they cannot do anything on the park site until the infrastructural development has been realized so as to attract investors who can set up factories.
He notes that although the region is among the leading producers of cash crops like tea and food crops like bananas and maize among others, farmers haven’t benefited because of exporting their produce in their raw forms. Rwabuhinga is optimistic that if the money comes and the park is operationalized, farmers’ incomes will improve because they will be able to export processed food stuffs and other agricultural products. Our reporter visited the proposed site of the park and found it surrounded with a huge bush. The only road leading to the site is in a terrible state with potholes, galleys and too narrow.
At the time of the launch, Christopher Businge, a researcher in the area, stressed the need for an operational industrial park, saying that his research for 15 years always shows that the area needs an industrial park. He asked leaders to ensure the park also includes a business incubation center where ideas can be modified to make them more feasible. In 2016, Uganda Investment Authority – UIA announced a plan to establish 22 industrial parks across the country with the aim of solving unemployment and boosting investments. Some of these such as Namanve industrial park in Kampala are already functional. For Comments call or text us on 0752510225.