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Coronavirus Outbreak Slows Down USMID Project implementation in Kitgum

But officials at Kitgum Municipal Council say that the timeframe for procuring a contractor for the actual implementation of the project in June this year could be dragged behind schedule as a result of measures taken to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
a medic uses infrared digital forehead thermometer to screen patients entering kitgum general hospital in kitgum municipality on thursday. photo by julius ocungi

Audio 2

The outbreak of coronavirus disease [covid-19] in the country is likely to delay the progress of Uganda Support To Municipal Infrastructural Development [USMID] project in Kitgum municipality.

The World Bank-funded project kicked off swiftly early this year after, a Ghanaian consultancy firm started undertaking architectural designs of selected roads, the bus and taxi terminal as well as the Beautification of Pager River. Also ongoing is the evaluation of all properties within the municipality in the first phase of the project’s physical and infrastructural development component.

But officials at Kitgum Municipal Council say that the timeframe for procuring a contractor for the actual implementation of the project in June this year could be dragged behind schedule as a result of measures taken to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kitgum Municipal Council Town Clerk Emmanuel Banya says that a meeting between consultants and municipal officials, which was expected to discuss draft reports on assessments of infrastructural and physical planning has also been halted.

The consultancy firms are Comptran Engineering & Planning Associates and Latitude Consulting Group Limited which are carrying out architectural and structural surveys, mapping, traffic counts, environmental impact assessments and physical planning.

He notes that government had expected the Municipal Authorities to submit in final draft reports on assessments by March 31, 2020, for approval before they could be allowed to procure a contractor for the project. 

//cue in; “Initially we should…

Cue out:…contracting out works.”//

He says that they are now trying to explore other avenues of presenting and discussing the draft reports  without defying the presidential directives and Ministry of Health guidelines. Banya adds that

once the dust settles, they will kick off urgently with the construction of a one-kilometre road out of the 15 kilometres roads planned for the five years’ project.

//cue in; “we have planned…

Cue out…as the day goes by.”//

Kitgum municipality has so far received eight billion shillings from the government under the USMID project. In a related development, Kitgum General Hospital administration has started using infrared forehead digital thermometer to screen everyone accessing the hospital facility.

The thermometer which was delivered on Wednesday afternoon will help to step up the fight against the spread of the deadly coronavirus disease that has so far infected 18 people in the country.

Bezzy Omoya, Kitgum General Hospital Senior Administrator says the district received two forehead thermometers citing that one is being used at St Joseph Hospital Kitgum. A health worker who presented suspected symptoms of COVID-19 is currently in isolation within the municipality and being closely monitored.