In a significant effort to enhance road infrastructure across the nation, the government of Uganda has allocated additional funds through the Land Fund for the maintenance of roads in every district.
Under the fiscal year 2023/2024 budget, each district is set to receive an extra 1 billion UGX for road maintenance, in addition to the funds provided through the Road Fund.
Dr. Chris Baryomunsi, the Minister for ICT & National Guidance, highlighted the importance of these additional funds, stating,
“To be given over and above what we provide under the Road Fund.”
This move is aimed at ensuring that all districts have access to sufficient resources for road maintenance and improvement.
However, there are early signs of challenges in the utilization of these funds, with reports emerging of some district officials opting to allocate resources for the construction of new roads instead of prioritizing the maintenance of existing ones. This trend has raised concerns within the government.
Minister Baryomunsi clarified the intended purpose of the allocated funds, stating,
“That money is meant to facilitate routine maintenance of existing murram roads within the district.”
He emphasized that this allocation is distinct from the funds provided through the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), as local government roads fall under the jurisdiction of the respective local governments.
The government believes that some officials may be motivated by corruption in their decisions to allocate funds for new road construction rather than maintaining existing ones. Earlier, the government had already allocated over 50 billion UGX to local governments for the maintenance of roads.
The move to allocate additional funds through the Land Fund underscores the government’s commitment to improving and maintaining Uganda’s road infrastructure.
It is expected that with these resources, the state of roads in districts across the country will witness substantial improvements, ultimately benefiting local communities and economic activities.
However, strict oversight and adherence to the intended purpose of these funds will be crucial to ensure their effective utilization.