The Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development is implementing Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development (USMID) program, funded by the World Bank-IDA through a US$ 150 million loan for a period of five years (2013 – 2018). The program is designed to enhance institutional performance of 14 Municipal Councils so as to improve urban service delivery.
The USMID program is being implemented in a context where Uganda since 1986 has experienced high economic growth, poverty reduction and an average annual GDP growth of 8.1 % over the last six years (2003/2004- 2009/2010). It has reduced donor assistance from 52 % of the annual budget in the early 1990s to the current level of 32%. USMID is contributing to the Second National Development Plan (2010/2011-2014/2015) which has identified Infrastructure as one of the complementary sectors for growth.
USMID is building on the World Bank’s and GoU’s long history of engagement in the local government since 1990s. In addition, Cities Alliance has provided a grant of US4.2M to government to implement “A strategy for Transforming Settlement of the Urban Poor in Uganda- A secondary Cities support program that covers five Municipalities of Arua, Mbale, Jinja, Mbarara and Kabale. USMID works closely with the Cities Alliance to ensure complementarily and synergy on their support to the sector.
The Overall Program Objective is to enhance the institutional performance of the 14 Municipal Councils to improve urban service delivery. The participating Local Governments are; Arua, Lira, Gulu, Soroti, Entebbe, Mbale, Tororo, Jinja, Masaka, Hoima, Fort portal, Mbarara, Kabale and Moroto.
1. Strengthened capacity of the 14 participating Municipalities in Fiduciary, safeguards, Urban planning and own source revenue generation
2. Increase in total planned infrastructure completed by participating Municipal Councils
3. Enhanced capacity of the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, management and backstopping for the implementation of the program
The institutional arrangement for the program implementation is as per the GoU structure and is consistent with the legal provisions therein. At the central level, the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ministry of Local Government, Ministry of Finance, planning and Economic Development and the Office of the Auditor General ensure the program resources are budgeted for and disbursed within the national Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and that Program accounts are audited as per the statutory requirements.
The USMID program has in its fifth year and final year achieved the following milestones among others;
1. Enhanced infrastructure: A total of 73 Urban roads that make up 39.09kms have been rehabilitated to asphalt concrete standards. The roads are designed complete with walkways, bicycle lanes in order to cater for all road users in the urban centre. The roads have also been fitted with solar lights so as to cater for safety and reduce on gender-based violence and crime that may crop up in the urban centres.
2. Enhanced drainage structures and greening to manage the climate change related risks like heat waves and heavy floods. So far, the program has achieved planting of 1320 trees and 56,449m of grass and flowers planted along the road reserves to enhance beautification of the same. Trash cans have also been provided to reduce on the littering of the streets.
3. A bus terminal in Moroto district has been developed, with a capacity of 16 buses.
4. The 14 Municipal Councils have been provided with Specialised technical equipment in the area of engineering, physical planning, surveying and environment. The equipment includes; Total stations, Plotters, Global Positioning systems- GPS, computer and software (Arc GIS and Auto CAD), Noise meter, Water meter among others, all aimed at facilitating service delivery in the urban centre.
5. All Municipal Councils have updated their registers for property rates and revenue sources for an improved revenue generation and management.
6. All Municipal councils now have updated Physical development plans to guide development.
7. The Government payment system – IFMIS Integrated Financial Management System is operational in all participating Municipal Councils and it has brought about transparency, accountability, brought about timely payments and enhanced reporting.
8. The Program as established a Grievance handling mechanism that has enabled the MCs to register, resolve and report all complaints that may arise out of the activities. The mechanism is set up at all levels ranging from the sites to the MC leadership to the Ministry.