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USMID Project in Moroto at 93%, Leaders Concerned About Delays

The final stretch of Lopeduru road in Moroto municipality, being upgraded to concrete pavement

By Timothy Eodu-Moroto

The Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development (USMID) project (construction of Loperu – Jie Road) in Moroto Municipality is progressing and stands at 93%. This was confirmed to KaramojaNews during a recent project inspection by the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development.

According to Eng. Lawrence Walulya, the USMID project engineer, although the works are at 93 percent, the completion and handover period has been greatly delayed due to the increasing prices of materials.

Walulya explained that some works had not been done as expected and the Ministry has instructed the constructor to rectify the mistakes before the contactor hands over the finished project to the municipal council.

He urged the contractor to ensure that the works are done as expected and must be handed over before the December this year when the USMID project is ending.

Eng. Lawrence observed that works such as street lights installations, garbage bins, and landscaping have not yet started but tasked the constructor to consider working on it as immediate as they can.

“USMID would not be responsible for any additional funds because the delays were caused by the constructor, we added them time that they requested, and now we expect them to have utilized it to our expectation,” he added.

LEADERS CONCERNED

Although the works are progressing and almost done, Moroto municipality leaders have expressed fears over the delayed construction of the Loperu – Jie Road. They are questioning why the contractor is almost taking three years constructing a 0.8-kilometer road and claimed that they are doing substandard work.

The Mayor of Moroto Municipality, Ismail Mohammed, reasoned that they do not have any contract with the contractor since works have not been done to their expectations after even extending for them ample time.

Mayor Moroto Municipality, Muhammed Ismail

Mr. Ismail said the Municipality also suffered extra costs of over 800 million Shillings on the extensions and is not ready to inject any other money due to delays by the contractor.

“We as Moroto Municipality have done our part and expect them (contractor) to also do its part by executing standard works, we shall not add even a cent in case of any extension unless USMID will help them out,” the mayor told our reporter.

Richard Eyaru, the Town clerk of Moroto Municipality, said that they have so the contractor of 40 percent of the money and will only pay the remaining balance when works are completed.

Timothy Wassajja, the contract manager at Abubaker Technical Services, blamed the slow progress and delays to the tough economic situation exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war which saw increase in fuel prices thus affecting their initial budget in the bidding.

“The Municipality is also partly to be blamed because they delayed reviewing and approve the changes made in the design before works begun,” Mr. Timothy said.

He, however, promised that they will work within the remaining period of time and ensure that value for money is realized.

“We are committed and shall do our best so that we hand over this project before its end in December. We are also promising the Municipal council that what we have done so far is standard and what they saw is just works still ongoing but by the time we finish, they will appreciate our efforts,” he remarked.

ABOUT PROJECT

The 7 billion Shillings project under the Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development (USMID) has a 0.8-kilometer stretch of two streets of Jie and Lopeduru connecting to the Moroto central market.

The contract was handed over to Abubaker Technical Services in July 2021, and completion was expected in October 2022 but was then extended to May 2023, although works are still ongoing.

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