Danish gov’t ends active road sector support to Uganda

dan_e__frederiksen

Dan Frederiksen, Danish Ambassador to Uganda

 

The Danish government is phasing out its support to Rural Transport Infrastructure Programme, an initiative used to maintain district, urban and community access roads in select districts in Eastern Uganda.

Dan Frederiksen, the Danish Ambassador to Uganda announced the development Tuesday during the commissioning of roads and bridges constructed in the districts of Mbale, Sironko and Kumi district with funding from DANIDA.

He explained that the program will be officially closed by the end of June 2015. He added that since 1995, Denmark provided a sector budget support of US$ 120 Million (about Shs 344 billion) with focus on support to district roads improvements, innovation on the low cost road sealing technology, building of bridges and box culverts and community infrastructure.

Under the Programme, DANIDA rehabilitated 780 kilometers of district roads, constructed 22 bridges and laid tarmac on 25 kilometers of district roads using low cost technology. The program also focused on training and capacity development of district staff and local contractors at the Mbale Labour Based Training Centre.

At least 25 local contractors 41 district staff and 10 staff from the Ministry of Works and Transport were trained in Labour based and Low Cost sealing methods. However, beneficiaries of the DANIDA projects are dismayed by the announcement.

Lova Wambede, a resident of Bufambidira village in Sironko district said residents benefited a lot in terms of improved roads and employment opportunities created by the projects which were more community oriented.

Gerald Gidudu, another resident from Mbale equally believes the phase off is a drawback to communities which enjoyed improved access to markets, extension services and social services as a result of the road development programme.

John Byabagambi, the newly appointed Works and Transport Minister said government was in talks with the European Union and the Department for International Development –DFID UK to take up the Rural Transport Infrastructure Programme.

Flanked by the European Union delegation, the two later commissioned Atutur –Kamaca, a low cost sealed road in Kumi. The events started yesterday with the commissioning of two roads and two bridges in Mbale and Sironko.

They include Busamaga-Magada low cost seal road, Nukiti –Nkonger gravel road, Namabwa stone arch bridge and Bufumbo stone arch bridge.

Frederiksen said the support was based on the Government’s strategy for sustainable maintenance of district, urban and community access roads with a focus on the development of the private sector and advancement of Labour-based technology. Direct support was given to 23 districts in Northern and eastern Uganda.