Bunyangabu Leaders Seek Control of Local Economic Growth Support Project

LEGs is a USD 43 million project funded by the Islamic Development Bank and implemented in 10 districts to address water for production, agriculture production, infrastructure and food security challenges, under the Ministry of Local Government.
On Thursday Bunyangabu launched the first road construction works under LEGS project

Audio 5

Local leaders in Bunyangabu District are asking the government to decentralize the Local Economic Growth Support (LEGs) project for proper monitoring and effective utilization of the resources.

LEGs is a USD 43 million project funded by the Islamic Development Bank and implemented in 12 districts to address water for production, agriculture production, infrastructure and food security challenges, under the Ministry of Local Government. The other benefiting districts include Amuria, Alebtong, Bukedea, Kumi, Kibuku, Nakaseke, Gomba, Katakwi, Tororo,  Luwero, and Rukungiri.

But Bunyangabu district chairperson James Ategeka Mutegeki says a lot of money is spent on project planning meetings, transport, monitoring and evaluation, yet much of it would be saved and used to do more work if the district takes full control of the project.

The chairperson also decried the high costs attached to the construction activities noting that it's much higher compared to what the district pays for the same. He was speaking at the launch of the 2.1 km road and bridge construction a route that will connect Kahondo trading centre in Kisomoro to Bubwika in Kibito Sub Counties. This work will cost more than 600 million Shillings.

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Mutegeki also noted that the district had presented more than 10 roads that are in a very dire state  but to thier surprise, the Ministry of Local Government picked out the smallest road to start with this financial year. He asked the ministry to consider working on the major roads that are key in enabling farmers reach out to markets.

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Hussein Kato, the district speaker said he suspects a lot of inflation in the bills of Quantities questioning how more than 600 million Shillings can be used to work on only 2.1Kms of the road. On average, a district uses about 10 million Shillings to construct one kilometre of a murram road.

Kato also demands that government decentralizes the project so that the districts are able to take full control of the resources and how they are being used.

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Area MP Davis Kamukama argued that districts have some of the resources like bulldozers which would reduce on the costs of construction. He appealed to the contractor to produce quality work and offer employment to the local labour.

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Victoria Busiinge Rusoke, the State Minister of Local Government, however, asked district leaders to instead monitor the project and ensure that there is quality work noting that the terms of the project were agreed upon by the government and the funder. She also advised local authorities to invest in building business partnerships with the private sector to beef up revenue collection in order to scale up service delivery.

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Kaija Salim, the chairperson of Bubwika B Cell asked the government to improve the worsening road situation in the district that has slowed the progress of the area. The road construction will be undertaken by Shataman Constructors U Limited with work expected to be completed in the next six months. The project will cover 43.6 kilometres of roads in a phased manner over the next five years.