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Do not compromise Master Plans, Commissioner tells Tororo municipal council authorities

The commissioner in charge of Urban Developments in the Ministry of Lands Housing and Urban Developments Joseph Walter Pade has attributed the mushrooming of illegal structures and encroachment on road reserves in urban centers, to the tempering with the provisions of the Municipality and or city master plans. 

He says such mannerisms are the reason the country is seeing on a daily basis collapsing building structures, and encumbrances while putting up road infrastructures and persistent effects of climate change like floods due to tempered drainages among others.

The commissioner made his observation on March 29, 2023 during the Program Technical Committee (PTC) field mission for the Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development- Additional Financing [USMID] program that was intended to assess the progress of the ongoing road construction works under the program.

The USMID program is implemented through the Ministry of Lands, Housing, and Urban Development by 33 Local Governments that comprise Cities, Municipalities, and Districts. The 5-year program that is in its final year of implementation is fully funded by the World Bank.

He nonetheless commended Tororo municipal council authorities for so far proper utilization of the program financing and closely supervising all civil works, adding that amidst all challenges Tororo municipal council remains the best performing.  Pade appealed to the council authorities to take charge of all upcoming developments by making a point that all approved building plans are supervised up to their final conclusions to avoid situations where they are altered deviating from the approved plans.

The commissioner was responding to concerns fronted by the members of the municipal development forum asking the funding body to prevail over a situation where the contractors have left a sewer line in the middle of Rock Crescent West Road (0.634km) under construction, and the resistance the contractor is facing from Divine Mercy Hospital. He said once the master plan is accorded respect even those intending to encroach or put up illegal structures will have fear.

The Director of Divine Mercy Hospital, Dr. Tadeo Okoth, when contacted said, “We are not ready to release even an inch of the land or allow the wall fence to be demolished after all its Tororo Municipal Council that approved this building plan.”

He added: “Demolishing the wall would mean destroying the entire Hospital- interrupting patients’ privacy. The same council officers approved and supervised the building plan, so if they are the same people behind this in any case, there should be compensation.”

The USMID Project Coordinator Isaac Mutenyo informed the meeting that the object of the field mission was to assess the progress of the ongoing Construction works at Rock Crescent West (0.634km) and Uhuru drive(1.5km) contracted by M/S. Dott Services Limited under the supervision of M/S. Air Water Earth JV KOM Consult Limited.

He applauded the contractor for the neat work and encouraged the municipal council engineer to closely supervise the project to ensure there is value for money. During the meeting, the contractor expressed concern over delayed payments saying that it is the reason they might ask for an extension of the completion timeline that was scheduled for March 7, 2023.

The town mayor Kennedy Orono Nyapidi said that Council Authorities are not in a hurry to receive the road and asked the contractor to initiate the demand for extension of the timeline for completion of the construction works since the mistake is on the side of the Government. 

He appealed to the Ministry to consider in the future to increase on the allocation to enable the authorities tarmac more roads, because the little support so far received has enabled them create interlinking roads that has improved connectivity in their Municipality. He said Tororo municipal council is extra ready for the next project based on the benefits attached to it, and that they already identified and approved the next list of infrastructure menu once the second phase of funding is approved. 

Under the USMID funding, Tororo Municipality was among the first 14 Municipalities that implemented the first five years of the program. Apart from Tororo, Moroto, and Kabale, the other 10 were converted into Cities after the first phase.

Currently, Tororo Municipality is implementing civil works on Oguti 1 Rd (0.517km) and Mvule Rd(0.164km) Rock crescent west Rd (0.634km), Uhuru drive (1.5km) all totaling to 2.815kms among other developments to Tororo Municipality like retooling, capacity building and institutional strengthening.