Ugandan MPs criticise Kampala drainage work

Ugandan MPs have criticised development works in the capital Kampala facilitated by loans from the World Bank, APA can report…

Ugandan MPs have criticised development works in the capital Kampala facilitated by loans from the World Bank, APA can report Tuesday.The Committee on National Economy expressed displeasure with Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA)’s utilisation of a $175 World Bank loan saying the quality of works does not correlate with the value of money.

MPs on the committee said that despite the funding, the works especially on the drainage system are wanting and as such the city continues to experience floods.

“You know these places flood every year, but you keep putting on small culverts which you replace every year, can’t you do something to address it once and for all,” said Alex Byarugaba (NRM, Isingiro South).

The committee was Monday, 13 February 2023 meeting officials from the Authority to get progress reports on the World Bank loan intended for the Kampala Institutional and Infrastructure Development Project of 2015 and the US$288 million from the African Development Bank meant for the Kampala City Roads Rehabilitation Project of 2021. 

The World Bank loan, which was meant for road construction and upgrading as well as drainage systems, widening of pedestrian walkways and signaling at junctions in Kampala City, was approved in 2005.

“We invested money in the Nakivubo drainage channel, but if you go there now and see its current state, you get disheartened,” Byarugaba said.

Byarugaba also descried the quality of city lights which he said quickly gets dim after installation, leaving the city in darkness. 

He asked KCCA to also fight thefts of security lights which he said was rampant.

MP Lillian Aber (NRM, Kigtum District), was concerned that the project delayed and thus costing government a lot of money accrued through interest. 

The project was initially planned to end by 2020 but it has been extended to May 2023.

“We are looking at money borrowed which government has to pay for; the time we waste translates into money wasted. Have we even calculated how much we have lost?” asked Aber.

KCCA’s Finance Director, Don Kitabire, said the project was challenged by financial loss worth US $ 17 million incurred through foreign exchange. 

“World Bank uses currency called SDR, they changed money from SDR to US dollars so we had a loss which we however communicated to the Finance Ministry,” said Kitabire.

The Project Coordinator, Edson Masereka, said the project has improved 70 kilometers of roads, with some upgraded from gravel to tarmac. 

The project has also reconstructed some of the roads, improved drainage system, installed signals at junctions and expanded pathways. 

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