World Bank cautions towns on shoddy work

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SOROTI. A senior World Bank official has cautioned municipalities implementing Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development (USMID) programme that they will not receive additional funding if works under phase one of the project are not satisfactorily completed by the end of June 2018.

Mr Martin Oyach Olaa, a senior World Bank urban specialist, on Tuesday expressed dismay at failure by beneficiary municipalities to follow stipulated designs for roads, saying the roads should have street lights, walkways, drainages channels and demarcated lanes as per the agreement.
Speaking during a meeting with Soroti Municipal technical staff, councilors, civil society members and officials from the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development at the municipal chambers, Mr Olaa said beneficary municipalities have deliberately ignored guidelines.

Disappointment
He expressed concern that many USMID phase one projects have not been finished despite funds having been disbursed to the implementing municipalities.
Mr Olaa cautioned town clerks against giving the public wrong information that the works stalled because of late remittances of money by World Bank.
“Let’s not shift failures to other people, accept your failures,” Mr Olaa explained, adding that the media has been made to understand that the cause for delayed roads is World Bank as an institution.
Mr Paul Omer, the Soroti Municipal Mayor, said the delay of road works being carried out by Plinth Technical Works Limited was as result of solving the issue of relocating electricity and water lines.
Mr Savino Katsigaire, the director of physical planning and urban development at the Ministry of Lands, Housing And Urban Development, said: “We are giving this projects all the needed technical guidance, so that the batch two projects come to pass.”

The six-year USMID project is aimed at expanding urban infrastructure, and enhance the capacity of the 14 municipal local governments to generate source revenues, improve urban planning, and strengthen financial management, procurement, environmental and social systems.
The 14 beneficiary municipalities are: Arua, Gulu, Lira, Soroti, Moroto, Mbale, Tororo, Jinja, Entebbe, Masaka, Mbarara, Kabale, Fort Portal and Hoima.

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