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UNRA GIVES HOPE TO RESIDENTS OF BUDUDA

By Isaac Wandubile

The Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) is seeking funds for the tarmacking of the 28.5km Bubulo-Bududa Road which connects the eastern Uganda districts of Manafwa and Bududa.

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Currently a Class C gravel road, the Bubulo-Bududa Road forms a link between Bubulo in Manafwa District and Bududa District, connecting them to the Mbale-Tororo section of A109.

UNRA plans to upgrade the road from gravel to paved standard. The road project will see works undertaken to upgrade the road to 11m wide roadway (7m wide carriageway with 3.5m wide lanes and 2.0m wide shoulders each side).

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The works will also include provision of traffic safety measures such facilities for cyclists and pedestrians, safety barriers, appropriate and sufficient traffic signage and road marking, and improved junction designs, all aimed at mitigating thee safety problems along the road; as well as the reconstruction of bridge crossings.

The detailed engineering design for the road project was completed in June 2021. The detailed design was undertaken by LEA Associates South Asia under the contract for consultancy services for the Feasibility Study and Detailed Engineering Design for Nabumali-Butaleja-Namutumba (95km)-Additional Design Services for Mbale-Nkonkonjeru Road (21 km) and Bubulo-Bududa Circular Road (28 km).

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UNRA is now seeking funds for civil works before commencing the procurement process for works on the road, which is currently under a framework maintenance contract by Akaaba Enterprises Limited for a period of three years. According to UNRA, the maintenance program will keep the condition of the road motorable as the process of design and upgrading is being undertaken.

During a tour of roads in the district, UNRA Executive Director Allen Kagina explained that the visit to Bududa was meant to look at the condition of the road network, given the fact that the area is affected by landslides and evacuation teams always find trouble relocating affected families due to the condition of roads and bridges.

Explaining that the road network in the district is shared between UNRA and the Local Government, ED Kagina confirmed that the Bududa Circular Road is “fairly motorable but not in very good condition,” adding that UNRA intends to improve its condition “so that it is easy to link from the mountains to our network and then move quickly.” She also noted that the improving the road network in the district would boost tourism.

“The reason why this is now urgent is because this is a very beautiful tourism area; it has a national park that is difficult to access now. This means that we are not getting the revenue we would be getting because the road network is not in good condition,” said Kagina. “Most of the roads which are not passable aren’t in our mandate but we are going to work together with the district authorities to see how we can have a costed prioritized plan for working on those roads.”

Bududa District LCV Chairman Milton Wasunguyi noted that due to floods and landslides, most of the roads in the district are inaccessible, making access to health and other services difficult. Wasunguyi was optimistic that upgrading the road would cause development in the district. “Once this one [road] is done, we can be able to grow our own coffee, sell it and we develop the country,” he said.

For her part, Bududa District Woman MP, who is also the State Minister for Karamoja Affairs, Agness Nandutu, said Kagina’s intervention had started benefitting Bududa because the ED has ordered emergency interventions for the repair of bridges so that people can cross from one sub-county to another and access services such as at health centres.

She urged the people of Bududa not to lose hope on the Circular Road which is currently being maintained but which she and other leaders want to be tarmacked. “Let the people of Bududa keep hope alive that before the five years end, the Bududa Ring Road will be done. That road is there and we shall implement it as Government. We don’t want Bududa to only be known for landslides; we want visitors to come to Bududa and look at the tourist sites, the water falls, the monkeys up there, the animals in the game park, the caves, the bull wrestling in Bududa,” said Nandutu.

“We want to attract tourists to this region but because of the poor road network, we are not able to, but in this kisanja, things are moving; the fishermen and women are doing everything possible to see that everything is in position.” (For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994 [whatsapp line], 0779411734, 0200900416 or email us atmulengera2040@gmail.com).

 

 

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