The National Oilseeds Project Set to Rehabilitate Community Access Roads in 81 Districts, in Six Based Sub-regions of Uganda under the Ministry of Local Government
The Ministry of Agriculture Animal and Fisheries (MAAIF) and Ministry of Local Government (MoLG) started the implementation of the National Oilseeds Project in 81 Districts. The Project has two components namely; a) Support to Oilseeds Value Chain Development under MAAIF and b) Support Market Linkage Infrastructure Serving Oilseed Sector implemented by MoLG.
NOSP is being funded by International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), Government of Uganda, Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Fund for International Development (OFID) and Heifer Project International, Kuehne International, GoU and Beneficiary Community/Private Sector.
On 13th June to August 2023 the Project team from MoLG and the selected District Local Government staff started the exercise of in-house design process for Community Access Roads in the six based Hubs of West-Nile, Gulu, Lira, Eastern, Mid-Western and Karamoja covering 81 Districts.
The in-house design exercise was aimed to come up with the comprehensive Engineering Designs to determine the scope of works for construction, prepare the standard bid documents, collect monitoring and evaluation data and conduct key informant interviews with community members /leaders to understand the challenges of market access. The exercise is further intended to transfer engineering design skills to LG staff and equip them with expertise to handle future road designs in their Local Governments.
During the design exercise, the In-house teams had an interactive meeting with the selected District leaders and community members who guided members on the socio-economic aspects, cultural, environmental concerns, challenges to market access and their expectations from project.
Most of the selected roads have issues of motorability, they were generally impassable with deep potholes because they have not been worked on for many years and as a result farmer are finding it so hard to access markets. Others have drainage bottlenecks, with few greenfield sections.
It wasn’t surprising therefore to hear comments like; “We hope This Project will move fast because the other Promised Projects have been delaying dragging us back in terms of development”, CAO Kikuube Ms. Dorothy Ajwang said this during the entry meeting with NOSP team at the headquarters.
In Kiruli-Nyakatiti Sub- County Masindi District Mid-Western Hub, Members expressed their concern about the poor state of the Community Access Roads in the area, the villages are affected, transport costs have continuously been hiked limiting people from accessing the service centers which hinders economic development.
The Chief Executive Officer for Masindi District Mrs. Sanyu Phionah acknowledged that some roads have not been rehabilitated because of limited funds. She further noted that more roads are being worked on currently with support from other Government Projects such as Local Economic Growth under MoLG. He promised people that the Government will rehabilitate all Community Access Roads in the area.
The team interacted with different road users in all hubs including pedestrians, cyclists, motorists, passengers and drivers about challenges and expectations.
There was concurrence in a number of communities that if Agriculture potential is to be effectively exploited, good road network with better transport modes to evacuate produce to the market” be provided. They requested the project to prioritize widening of the roads, construct bridges (e.g., Ngenge bridge in Kapchorwa and Lazebu bridge in Zombo districts that have long-life span.
To sum it up, the District Executive Committees (DEC) and Technical Planning Committees in all Hubs appreciated the Government of Uganda for the continuous investments put in place to improve people’s livelihoods and considering them among the selected beneficiary Districts for NOSP. They assured to collaborate with the Ministry of Local Government through giving generous full support; assured no political interference to accomplish the project’s goal.
By Kihembo Mackylne, PR Assistant