“Under USMID projects, we are putting solar street lights but we don’t have crane trucks to service those spoiled lights and as I said now, over 72 are spoiled and we have to hire crane trucks to service them and it is becoming very expensive for us,” said George Labeja Gulu City Mayor.
The authorities of Gulu City have cried out to the secretariats of Uganda Support for Municipal Infrastructural Development –USMID to allocate funds for procurement of crane trucks to help in servicing the street solar lights.
In October 2019, Gulu City -then Gulu Municipality- launched the installation of 500 solar street lights on streets, under the 3.2 billion shilling additional funding from the Uganda Support for Municipal Infrastructural Development –USMID project to improve on the urban service delivery.
Gulu City Mayor Mr George Labeja said to date only 301 Solar street lights have been installed and over 72 are spoiled but the authorities say they don’t have the capacity to repair them.
“Under USMID projects, we are putting Solar street lights but we don’t have crane trucks to service those spoiled lights and as I said now over 72 are spoiled and we have to hire crane trucks to service them and it's becoming very expensive for us,” Mr Labeja pleaded.
According to one of the residents Mr Alex Okoya, the dark spots within the city have become hot-spots for thugs and on a daily basis there are over 15 reported cases of robbery and pick-pocketing.
“When we talk of dark-spots nobody is safe because every dark-spots is a death trap and that is where these thugs are waylaying people at and robbing them off their belonging,” Mr Okoya said.
During the monitoring of the ongoing progress of USMID within Gulu City, Dr Isaac Mutenyo, USMID Coordinator sympathetically pledged to consider tabling Gulu outcry to consideration saying procuring a crane-truck is a necessity for sustainability of the project.
In 2016 Gulu was ranked number one out of the 14 municipalities in the country in terms of implementing funds under the Uganda support to Municipality Infrastructural development (USMID) funded by the World Bank.
The ranking by the World Bank follows an implementation assessment carried out by KPMG Consultancy in various fields that included handling of procurement processes, hiring road contractors, physical planning, environmental planning and financial management, among others. However the capacity gaps has been spotted as one of the challenges that would bring down the city.