14 Local Governments Benefit from World Bank-Funded USMID Project

14 Local Governments Benefit from World Bank-Funded USMID Project

The state minister for Urban Development, Mr. Obiga Kania, has directed the 14 Local Governments benefiting from the Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development (USMID) programme to finalize and close all pending work by the end of July. The local governments include Gulu, Lira, Arua, Moroto, Tororo, Soroti, Mbale, Jinja, Mbarara, Hoima, Fort Portal, Masaka, Entebbe, and Kabale.

The $150 million World Bank-funded project, implemented by the Ministry of Lands, Housing, and Urban Development (MLHUD), commenced in the 2013/2014 financial year and officially closed on June 30, 2024. During a two-day closure meeting of the Programme Technical Committee (PTC) in Jinja City, Mr. Kania emphasized the importance of completing the remaining work promptly.

“I direct all Local Governments with incomplete projects to use this month of July to finalize and close these projects,” Mr. Kania said. He noted that the project was initially set to close on December 31, 2023, but received an extension until June 30, 2024, by the World Bank. “We have been forewarned that any projects not completed by the official closure date pose significant challenges for the new programme. It is now our responsibility to act,” he added.

Mr. Kania also mentioned that the government is negotiating with the World Bank for a new project, the Uganda Cities and Municipalities Infrastructure Development (UCMID), which will have similar activities to USMID but at a deeper level.

Jinja City Mayor, Mr. Peter Okocha Kasolo, reported that they initially received Shs16 billion for works on Busoga Avenue, Bell Avenue East and West, and Clive Road East. These projects, including the drainage system and asphalt laying, are 99.5% complete. However, challenges such as design errors and heavy rains caused delays.


Kabale Municipality Mayor, Mr. Emmanuel Byamugisha Sentaro, expressed doubts about meeting the new one-month deadline for completing works on Rushoroza, Bwankosa, and Bushekwire Roads. He cited pending tasks such as installing walkways, streetlights, and covering manholes.

Adjumani District Chairman, Mr. Ben Anyama, raised concerns about funds being returned to the consolidated fund due to the project’s end at the close of the last financial year. He urged the Permanent Secretary and Secretary to the Treasury to release the funds to complete the work.

Mr. Kania acknowledged the law requiring unspent funds to be returned to the consolidated fund by June 30 but suggested a review of this law to accommodate project timelines that extend beyond the financial year. “In my view, there is a need for the cabinet to look at that law and make a proposal specifically for projects,” he said, noting that other infrastructure projects have been similarly affected.

Despite these challenges, Mr. Kania highlighted that Uganda has achieved nearly all its targets under the USMID programme over the past decade, with minimal reports of fraud and corruption. He noted some concerns regarding project costs and expenses but affirmed the overall success of the initiative.

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