Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) Executive Director Dorothy Kisaka has assured Kampala city dwellers that despite the World Bank lending freeze on Uganda, roads which were earmarked to be constructed under the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area (GKMA) urban development programme will be completed as earlier scheduled.
Kisaka made the revelation earlier this week while addressing core Local Government leaders from the Central Region who converged at the National Leadership Institute (NALI) in Kyankwanzi for a 5-day manifesto monitoring and validation exercise.
In her presentation in which she highlighted the status of implementation of the manifesto commitments under KCCA so far, Kisaka revealed the inroads the city authority has registered in the manifesto focal areas for KCCA, namely infrastructure development, roads and drainages, construction and management of markets, revenue mobilization and socioeconomic empowerment of city dwellers.
The state of city roads has lately been the biggest eyesore for which the authorities at City Hall have received so much stick. Matters were worsened by recent torrential rains which aggravated the problems of potholes and silting of drainage channels due to floods, among other factors.
At the Kyankwanzi retreat therefore, central region manifesto stakeholders, especially those from Kampala City and the Greater Kampala Metropolitan area seized the opportunity to seek explanation from the ED on the authority’s plan for the city’s road network. Of critical concern were the funding challenges which will potentially cripple further road and other infrastructural works following the recent freeze on loans to Uganda by the World Bank.
It is noteworthy that by the time of the global funder’s sanctions, KCCA was among the hugest beneficiaries of World Bank funding, with one of its flagship projects being the Greater Kamapala Metropolitan Area (GKMA) Urban Development project.
Launched on May 31, 2022, the US$566m project is aimed at improving the institutional capacity of KCCA to extend improved infrastructure and services to citizens in Kampala city and the metropolitan areas of Entebbe, Mukono, Wakiso and Mpigi.
But while responding to the concerns, Kisaka allayed fears over this project, revealing that all its funds and related budgetary processes had been secured and finalized prior to the loans freeze.
Kisaka was however happy to reiterate that the city authority is committed to improving the city’s road network in line with the commitments government made in the NRM Manifesto 2021-26.
Enumerating some of the commitments accomplished so far in the area of roads, she revealed that under KIIDP2 project jointly funded by the World Bank, 28 road junctions in the city have been signalized to ease traffic flow and reduce accidents respectively. Among these include: Nateete road junction, Nakawa, Wandegeya, Lugogo Bypass, Kira Road and Bwaise-Mambule, among others. This is on top of constructing 13 new traffic junctions. KCCA also managed to construct 51Km of roads in the city, while 650Km of paved roads have been maintained.
She noted that among these works is the dualing of John Babiha Road, reconstruction of Nakawa-Ntinda Road and Lukuli road, as well as tarmacking Kulambiro Ring road and Kabuusu-Bunamuwaya road.
To stem flooding of the city during heavy rains, KCCA has completed 10km of city drainages including the Nakamiro-Lubigi channels.
Kisaka however noted that the state of the city’s roads remains an area of critical concern but with increased availability of funds, all roads will be fixed since they are well lined in the manifesto work plans.
Revenues Shoots Up
Through KCCA’s Smart City Campaign interventions, the city authority has managed to attain some semblance of trade order, whose result has been the increase of revenue collections in the city.
Kisaka for instance told manifesto stakeholders that for the first time in KCCA’s history, last financial year which ended in July, the authority hit its revenue targets by over 16% — collecting UGX 104.917bn against a target of 99.751bn.
She revealed that all these and other achievements which have been registered at City Hall in this short time are attributed to her promotion of teamwork and dedication to working for the people at all times.
“I would like to commend my team at City Hall for accepting to work as a team. I can assure you that everyone is now on board, which is why in the three years I have been in office you have not heard of any tensions between the technical and political wings,” she said.
She attributed the prevailing amicable environment at City Hall to a deliberate culture of prioritizing service delivery to city dwellers as opposed to advancing selfish individual interests.
“We learnt that we all get our mandates from the law which clearly defines who should do what; so every two weeks the ED the Lord Mayor sit and we decide how best to serve the people who are the reason why we hold those offices,” Kisaka said.
She however noted that decongestion of the city remains a big challenge but KCCA is making plans to reorganise the bodaboda, taxi and bus transport systems; with specific interventions being mooted including introduction of light rail system, bus rapid transit as well as flyovers.
Official data shows that the 5 divisions and 99 parishes of Kampala City have a total road network spanning 2110km. of these, only 30% (approx. 650km) are tarmacked. The bigger challenge though is that up to 50% of the paved roads are in perfect condition; with the other half being every old and needing total overhaul.