Breaking

Roads To Remain In Poor State As District Misses Out On Road Funds

In the 2014/2015 financial year, the district budgeted for 500million shillings for rehabilitation of rural feeder roads and bridges in different parts of the district. However the district will not receive the funds, which will hinder the rehabilitation of several roads and affect service delivery.

Audio 1

Kabarole district has missed on the funds from the Uganda Road Fund. The Uganda Road Fund (URF) is a body mandated by Government of Uganda through the Uganda Road Fund Act, 2008, to finance maintenance of public roads in Uganda. URF allocates funds to districts and municipalities every financial year for routine and periodic maintenance of public roads.

In the 2014/2015 financial year, the district budgeted for 500million shillings for rehabilitation of rural feeder roads and bridges in different parts of the district. However the district will not receive the funds, which will hinder the rehabilitation of several roads and affect service delivery.

Some of the major roads that were earmarked for rehabilitation are in areas where there are agricultural activities like banana and tea growing. The roads include the Harugongo-Kichwamba, Kiremeezi-Buheesi and Kijura-Kyembogo among others.

Eng. Michael Odongo, the URF Executive Director says that the funds were withheld due to failure to account for 350 million shillings which was released in the 2013/2014 finanicial and diverting the funds to other projects. Odongo further says the district will have to recover the funds or else they will not be given any more money for road works.

Regina Kabahenda, a banana farmer in Burungu parish, Karambi Sub County says that residents were excited when the Mugusu-Karambi road was earmarked for construction this finanicial year becasue it would enable people of the area to carry out their actvities with ease. Kabahenda says that it is difficult for the residents to access the health centre in the area during the rainy season because the roads are due to impassable roads. She also says that some of the roads in the area have been damaged by heavy trucks which carry Pozzolana, a product used in manufacturing cement.

//Cue in: “the roads…

Cue out: “…when it rains.”//

Nicholas Ochakara, the Chief Adminstrative Officer Kabarole and Moses Ikagobya, the Kabarole district vice chairperson and secretary for works said that they aren't aware that the district will miss out on the funds. Ikagobya says that should the district not receive the funds, it will affect the district since they will be expected to maintain the road networks through their locally generated revenue, which is inadequate.

 

The Uganda Road Fund (URF) has in the past withheld funds meant for road maintenance in several districts after the accounting officers fail to account for earlier releases or due to irregularities which include the contractors being overpaid by the district and municipal authorities, while several in others have diverted funds from the intended purposes.

Keywords