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By Joel Mugabi

Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) has assured the people of Lira in the Lango Sub-region that preparations for the commencement of the Lira-Kamdini Road Project are in advanced stages, contrary to reports that it has been forgotten and abandoned.

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Recently, there have been reports of a planned demonstration by some residents in Lira City over the delayed road construction works. The roads agency, whose Executive Director is Allen Kagina, says the planned protest is “an unfortunate instance of erroneous and misleading mobilization.”

Responding to mistruths being vended by area leadership regarding the Lira-Kamdini Project, UNRA explained that the Lira-Kamdini Road is included in the North Eastern Road Corridor Asset Management Project (NERAMP) as part of the Lot 2 section: Soroti-Lira-Kamdini.

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According to the roads authority, the type of contract being implemented for the project (whose funding is from the Government of Uganda (GoU) and the World Bank), is “not like the traditional contracting arrangements where studies are conducted before the works implementation is procured.”

“The signed contract covers the required studies including Environmental, Social and Technical, and the works execution. Being a World Bank financed project, compliance to Environmental and Social safeguard (ESS) requirements is key. No activity can take place without World Bank’s clearance of Environmental and Social safeguard,” explained the Kagina-led agency.

“The design for the planned intervention which is total reconstruction is complete. Start of Works awaits clearance safeguards documents by the World Bank who are co-financing the project with the Government of Uganda. When approval of the pending ESS documentation, including the Road Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for the source of aggregates is secured, priority will be given to the Lira-Kamdini section and works will start immediately.”

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UNRA further confirmed that the Contractor is “sufficiently equipped” and present on site “to immediately embark on the works” as soon as the required safeguards have been cleared by the funding partners. The Authority has further noted that in the meantime, routine maintenance would continue. Maintenance works have resumed after the end of the Christmas break.

As this publication reported in October 2021, UNRA and all Lango legislators undertook a three-day tour of all the road projects in the sub-region ( UNRA is already working on the commitments made during this tour. Works for three key national road construction projects – Rwekunye-Apac (90km), Apac-Lira-Puranga (100km) and Soroti-Dokolo-Kamdini – have already begun.

As expected of any road project, there are intermittent traffic interruptions along the Lira-Kamdini Road which inconvenience road users. UNRA has since apologized to travelers using this road. The agency has also urged road users to continue observing the traffic management guidelines that have been put in place to enhance safety, enable smooth flow of traffic and avoid accidents. (For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994 [whatsapp line], 0779411734, 0200900416 or email us




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