The Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development Ms.Judith Nabakooba has extended government s appreciation to the World Bank for the continued funding of the Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development ( USMID) Project -which is transforming many cities and municipalities across the country .

Minister Nabakooba was speaking at the opening of a two day USMID project – mid term review with Uganda said to be urbanising at a rate of 18% per annum. Nabakooba called upon local governments to intensify their local revenue mobilisation efforts to get resources that will help in the maintenance of the new infrastructure and beautification set up under the five year project which will end in December 2023.

Delegates at the World Bank funded USMID Mid Term Review meeting held in Kampala

The minister warned contractors against shoddy work and delayed implementation of projects. Nabakooba promised the participants that her ministry will interface with that of Finance to resolve the issue of sweeping funds when contracts are already awarded a scenario that affects the progress of project works . She said the lands ministry is automating to eliminate corruption and improve -timely service delivery .

Dr.Isaac Mutenyo the USMID project coordinator said through the mid term review, they want to among others see if the key objective of extending a new project to realise the goals of a national urban development, has been attained.

The State Minister for Urban Development Obiga Kania noted that there is a lot which needs to be done to ensure speedy and timely delivery of the project works within the benefiting cities and municipalities.

“When the NRM came into power, emphasis was on the rural areas. Poverty alleviation programs were part of this. Opportunities in the urban areas caused millions to relocate. We would like to assure the Wold Bank that from the central to local governments, we shall reduce these challenges.”

He observed that the creation of new cities has led to new challenges for the USMID project. The State Minister gave the example of Arua City which comprises of 10 sub counties but with serious infrastructure constraints. the same challenges are reported in Mbale, Mbarara and Jinja cities.

“We therefore, must improve infrastructure in these areas. Our projects therefore, under USMID are encouraging the lower units to ensure proper physical planning. Utility lines such as power, water and internet need to be taken care of in the planning and implementation phase,” Obiga stated .

The World Bank manager for Urban Development, Resilience and Land, Peter Ellis, said the mid term review of the USMID projects will help to ascertain the progress of the works.

“This is an opportunity to critically assess the programme for completion purposes in the next 18 months. The purpose of this programme is ensure liveability of the cities where new infrastructure is being undertaken,” he added.

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