After procurement stalled for about four years, UNRA has Thursday signed a contract for the upgrade of the Muyebe – Nakapiripirit from gravel to paved bituminous standard.
The contract for construction of the 92km road was offered to Turkish construction firm, M/S Polat Yol Yapi San. Be Tic. A.S.
The road starts at Muyembe at the end of the tarmac road from Mbale and will connect to the already paved Nakapiripirit – Moroto road.
UNRA Executive Director, Allen Kagina officially signed the contract on Thursday along with Emre Polat who represented Polat Yol, the contractor.
Government secured funding worth Shs 399bn from the Islamic Development Bank for the construction.
Kagina told reporters after the signing ceremony that the road will significantly contribute to the economic prosperity of north eastern part of Uganda.
“The road will also assist the administrative and social coverage in the region, reduce operating costs and improve social services,” Kagina said.
She said the procurement of the contractor suffered delays after the Islamic Development Bank which had earlier offered loan financing for the project withdrew funding citing “some issues”. This also affected the Rwenkunye – Apac – Lira road project.
Kagina said that after government engaged the financier and rectified the said issues, the funding was reinstated.
With the contract signed, the contractor will now begin mobilization of equipment and human resources as well as setting up camp. The actual civil works are expected to commence early next year, Kagina said.
She said the construction will the 36 months.
Celaleddin Polat, from the contracting firm said this is the first project the Turkish company is executing in Uganda and East Africa.
The Muyembe – Nakapiripirit road is an existing gravel road to be upgraded to a Class II standard type road comprising of a carriage way width of 7.0m and shoulder width of generally 2.0m.
UNRA says the process of acquiring land for the construction is on course and that a total of 60.72km of right of way has been acquired, representing 66%.
At least 83 percent of the project affected persons have so far been compensated by government.
“Our company is an international global contractor based in Turkey. We have been in business for more than 50 years. So far we have executed projects in Morocco, Turkey, Georgia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan,” Emre Polat said.
“We are heavily experienced in infrastructure particularly roads. We believe we shall have a good start in this country because we want to stay here for a long time”.
Kagina said UNRA will be monitoring to ensure that issues relating to local content and environmental protection are taken into consideration in the process of construction.
“It is in our interests and the laws of Uganda that local companies especially Ugandans participate in all projects. There will be jobs for drivers, flags men, semi-skilled people,” Kagina said.
“What we insisted is that the contractor must employ Ugandans, especially for lower skilled jobs. For the higher skilled job, we will need them to show us the people they are employing”.