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Old April 1st, 2011, 11:03 PM   #161
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Bujagali dam near completion
Friday, 1st April, 2011
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An aerial view of Bujagali Hydropower Project. The river has been diverted to pass through the spillway.
By Frank Mugabi

CONSTRUCTION of the 250MW hydropower dam at Bujagali falls has entered its final phase. On Friday engineers started diverting the River Nile at the site to create a dry bed, where the dam’s final embankment will be erected.

Bill Groth, the construction manager at Bujagali Energy Limited (BEL), said the river was being re-channeled to run through a newly-constructed spillway. By mid May the river bed will be dry, but the water will be brought back when construction is finished.

“We need about six weeks to accomplish the entire procedure (of diverting the river) to allow work on the left embankment to commence,” Groth said.

The first 50MW of electricity will be produced by October 2011 and by April 2012, the plant will be producing to capacity.

The plant is also anticipated to shift reliance from the costly thermal power to the more reliable and less expensive hydro power to spur the country’s social and economic development.

When the power plant is complete, Load shedding and electricity tariffs are expected to reduce.

Due to the ongoing construction, the age-old picnic and tourism site has been closed to the public. It is considered unsafe and soon the rapids will disappear.

Instead fun lovers are encouraged to go to Kalagala Falls which is located downstream, which is as beautiful as Bujagali. Kalagala can be accessed through the Jinja-Kayunga road.

White water rafters are no longer allowed to pass through Bujagali. Instead, they start downstream the Bujagali dam and can go beyond Kalagala falls.

“We have blocked access to Bujagali falls. But we encourage rafters and other water users to shift their activities downstream,” Kenneth Kaheru, the BEL deputy construction manager, said.

The project employs about 2500 people, of whom 2200 are Ugandans. Most of them work as welders, carpenters, concrete finishers, equipment operators and truck drivers.




MOE Injects Shs 6BN In Gulu School!


Bataringaya (L), the Belgian Ambassador Von Gedopt (M) and Ag PS Aggrey Kibenge .
By John V Sserwaniko.

On Friday, officials from the Ministry of Education (MOE) and those from the Belgian Embassy in Kampala descended on Gulu town to witness the commissioning of the rehabilitated and expanded Sir Samuel Baker School.
The expansion and rehabilitation works cost Shs6bn, part of which was contributed by grants from the Belgian government.

The other is a contribution by the government of Uganda through the Ministry of Education. State Minister, Kamanda Bataringaya who led the MOE delegation thanked the Belgian government and hoped that the school will now cater for higher number of students.

Belgian Ambassador, Marc Von Gedopt hoped that the intervention will help the school, which was once an academic giant in Uganda to regain national competitiveness. He urged teachers not to let down the community saying development partners and government had done their part.
Excited at the state-of-art facilities, Gulu outgoing LCV Chairman, Norbert Mao asked to be recruited to teach General Paper (English) at the school for the next five years as he prepares to run for presidency in 2016.



Gulu LCV chairman Mao welcomes the Ambassador Von Gedopt.

THE WORKS
Among others, the renovated and expanded complex comprises of the tile-roofed Head Teacher’s house, Main Hall, Burton House (for O’level), Dining Hall, a modern Latrine block and classroom blocks among others.


School block.

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Old April 5th, 2011, 06:59 PM   #162
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Japan funds Jinja bridge construction
Monday, 4th April, 2011
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By Sylvia Nankya

CONSTRUCTION of the new bridge on River Nile in Jinja will officially start in August 2012, works and transport minister Eng. John Nasasira has said.

The bridge, estimated to cost $135m, will replace the current one at Nalubaale Dam (formerly known as Owen Falls Dam) which has cracked.

Nasasira said the work would be completed within four years.

The Japanese government is providing $102m through the Japan’s Overseas Development Assistance Programme as a soft loan and Uganda will raise the remaining $33m, Nasasira added.
Nasasira was yesterday afternoon meeting the Japanese Ambassador to Uganda, Keiichi Kato.

Kato has just completed his tenure of service in Uganda for over three years.
Nasasira said the project tenders will be called before the end of this year.

“Nalubaale Bridge, completed in the 1954, has exceeded its lifespan. We need an urgent replacement because it is a main gateway for traders in the region,” Nasasira said.

According to the project design, the new bridge will be 525 metres long, with a dual lane and three span cables, making it the largest in the country.

Nasasira said the bridge, once completed, will boost trade between Uganda and its neighbours since it serves as the major trade link through eastern Uganda.

“A country like Uganda can only increase foreign direct investments through improving its general infrastructure,” Kato said.

For the last 25 years, Japan has supported projects in Uganda in road construction, improvement of traffic flow, improvement of trunk roads and resettlement of internally displaced persons.


Works bids farewell to Japanese ambassador
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By John Njoroge (email the author)

Posted Tuesday, April 5 2011 at 09:09
Kampala

Works Minister John Nasasira has commended the Japanese government for the continued assistance it has rendered to Uganda since 1987.

Eng. Nasasira was bidding farewell to Japan’s ambassador to Uganda, Mr Keiichi Kato, who paid him a courtesy call at his office on Old Port Bell Road in Kampala yesterday. Ambassador Kato is returning to Japan after three-and-a-half years in Uganda.

Japan has been instrumental in the provision of road construction equipment, maintenance and reconstruction of district roads and bridges, especially in the northern Uganda. It has also facilitated government in the improvement of several junctions on Kampala city roads.

Uganda will receive $102m (about Shs240 billion) from Japan for the construction of a new bridge on River Nile. The bridge will cost an estimated $135m (Shs318 billion). Government will raise the remaining Shs75.2 billion.

Maintain infrastructure
“I have had great experiences in Uganda. I will greatly miss this country,” Ambassador Kato said. He stressed the importance of provision of good infrastructure if Uganda is to continue to attract foreign investment. “Peace, stability, strong leadership and the existence of an appropriate National Development Plan are also key to sustainable growth and development,” Ambassador Kato said, adding that the Ugandan government should continue building the capacities of its various institutions.

Eng. Nasasira expressed sympathy over the recent earthquake, tsunami and nuclear catastrophe in Japan. “Our hearts are with the Japanese people,” he said. He applauded Ambassador Kato for championing several infrastructure projects in Uganda. Ambassador Kato was accompanied by Mr Junji Yamazaki, the deputy head of the Japanese Mission to Uganda.
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Old April 6th, 2011, 09:09 AM   #163
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Tororo builds sh800m office block
Tuesday, 5th April, 2011
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By Moses Nampala

THE first phase of a sh800m storied office block for Tororo municipal council has been completed.

The municipal authorities took the decision to construct a new office block after the old one, inherited from the colonial government, became congested.

Tororo municipal engineer James Katumba on Tuesday said on average, a single office room in the old office block was being occupied by three departments.

The final touches yet to be done on the new office ground floor that has the capacity to house 10 offices, include fixing glasses on the shutters and installation of electricity and plumbing system.

The civil works which started in June last year, was expected to be completed in June this year.

The municipal treasurer, Joseph Baraza, said the funds used in facilitating the office extension block were apportioned under the Peace, Recovery and Development Programme (PRDP) and unconditional grants allocated to the municipal council by the central government.



Kitgum war museum opened
Thursday, 7th April, 2011
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Traditional dancers performing in front of the war centre in Kitgum on Wednesday
By WOKORACH OBOI

A war memorial centre has been opened in Kitgum district. The Kitgum War Memorial Museum is meant to provide historical information about the Lord’s Resistance Army insurgency in northern Uganda.

Commissioning the centre on Wednesday, the Uganda Law Commission chairman, Prof. Joseph Kakooza, said it would act as a reminder to avoid another conflict in the country in future.

Kakooza said the centre will collect materials about the war in the north and other conflicts which occurred in other parts of the country since 1962.

He blamed Uganda’s turbulent past on thirst for power and greed for wealth.

Kakooza urged leaders to fight bloodshed and seek lasting peace.

Located at the district headquarters, the facility will comprise a museum, a library and a peace documentation centre. It will collect and preserve artifacts about war.

The centre, worth over sh500m, is funded by USAID through the Northern Uganda Transition Initiative and is being implemented by Makerere University’s Refugee Law Project.

It will contain live exhibitions and an information technology centre where visitors will watch digital versions of archived material relating to war.

However, only the first phase of the project was launched. The rest, including the museum, will be completed later.

Kenneth Oketta, the prime minister of Ker Kwaro Acholi, the Acholi cultural institution, said although the centre will preserve aspects of the Acholi culture, it will also help in the transition and resettlement process.

The retired bishop of Kitgum Diocese, Macleod Baker Ochola II, described the centre as a divine inspirational vision, which would benefit the world.

The Kitgum LC5 chairman, John Komakech Ogwok, said the centre would benefit the learned and the illiterate.


Works on new River Nile bridge kickoff
Wednesday, 6th April, 2011
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THE Government of Uganda has embarked on the design works of the 120-year dual carriageway bridge.

Speaking to the Business Vision recently, Eng. Peter Ssebanakitta, executive director, Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) confirmed that all land has been secured and compensation requirements effected. “About sh19b ($8m) has been spent on the compensation to 340 project affected persons and 41structures are affected.”

The second bridge over the River Nile at Njeru in Jinja will secure communication on the northern corridor route which is a life-line link for Uganda and its Central African neighbours to the sea.

Ssebanakitta said the project is to relieve traffic loading from the old deteriorated Nalubaale Bridge.

“The project’s construction works including compensation is estimated to cost $135.4m. Japanese Agency for International Cooperation (JICA) will avail under its Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) a loan amounting to sh238b ($100million) and GOU will provide sh85b ($35.4m) for the project,” he explained.

Construction works are to take four-years beginning August 2012 and ending August 2016.

“Right now the detailed design period is on-going. It started in December 2010 and is to last until December 2011 while the tendering for construction is to begin June, 2011 and end June, 2012,” said Ssebanakitta. So far some of the key achievements have been pre-feasibility study that was completed in 2006 under funding by the World Bank. Then a feasibility study of the bridge began in 2008 and completed in October 2009 with funding from JICA.

“The bridge will carry a class 1(b) dual-carriage that is seven metres each carriageway with additional two metres segregated wide walk ways on either side for pedestrians and cyclists will be provided,” said David Ssali Luyimbazi, UNRA director of planning. It will be 525m long dual-lane, three-three span single plane cable stay bridge with main span of 290m. The bridge structure shall bear an iconic presence at Uganda’s Gateway at Jinja.

The last census count of vehicles crossing Nalubaale Bridge in Decemaber 2008 showed 9,412 per day.

Owen Falls Dam) commissioned in 1954 will also be rehabilitated and opened to pedestrians, cyclist and motor-cyclists. Local traffic to the dam and offices in the locality will be permitted to use the old bridge. Otherwise, all commercial traffic will exclusively use the new bridge.

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Old April 10th, 2011, 08:36 PM   #164
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proposed office on Churchill road gulu








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Old April 19th, 2011, 11:11 PM   #165
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Chinese to build Kyambura mini-power dam
Tuesday, 19th April, 2011
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Chunsheng and Murangira exchange papers as Migereko, Kajara and D’Ujanga look on
UGANDANS have partnered with the Chinese to build the 8.6MW Kyambura mini-hydropower in Bushenyi.

The venture is expected to increase cheap power supply in the national grid after Ziba Uganda and China’s Machinery Export Company (CMEC) signed a $12m deal.

Jin Chunsheng, the CMEC vice-president, said his firm aims at fast-tracking the project development, which he said will last only 12 months. Simon D’Ujanga, the energy state minister, welcomed the venture, saying that it will help in connecting electricity to rural areas.

“Uganda is less than 10% electrified. This project will help improve access to electricity needed for development,” he said.

Aston Kajara, the minister for investments said: “We encourage the Chinese to exploit other project like railway building.”

“This is good venture because it helps build capacity for our local investors,” the minister pointed out at the signing of the agreement attended by Daudi Migereko, the Chief Whip in Kampala last week.
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Old April 20th, 2011, 11:12 PM   #166
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Sh283b lucrative road deals up for grabs in 2011/12
Wednesday, 20th April, 2011
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By David Ssempijja

THE Government will spend over sh283b to improve the road network in the next financial year, a top official said this week. The sh283b expenditure, is, however, down from the sh340b submitted for parliamentary approval.

Dr. Michael Odongo, the head of the Uganda Road Fund, explained that 67% of the total budget, would be disbursed to the Uganda National Roads Authority, an agency that works on national roads.

The remainder would be channelled through districts, municipalities, city councils and divisions to finance periodic road works.

“We are happy that improving the road network ranks among government’s leading key priorities.

“This will help in fast-tracking development for it will greatly improve the movement of people, goods and services,” Odongo said on Monday.

Odongo was addressing a workshop for northern region districts at the Churchhill Courts Hotel, Gulu as the body sought to inculcate the culture of accountability for the road funds entrusted to designated agencies.

“Proper and timely accountability is a key element we need to emphasise as we develop the road infrastructure. This will enhance efficiency through minimising contract delays and financial losses,” said the executive director.

John Ocitti, the manager for fund management, decried the low levels of absorption where some agencies fail to utilise the money within a stipulated time.

Agencies failed to utilise up to sh47b out of the sh116b the fund disbursed in the first quarter of last financial year.

“Agencies must observe the need to expedite road contracts because unutilised funds will create a vote of no confidence in the way we do business and will have a negative bearing on the budgetary allocation processes,” Ocitti noted.

“We can’t continue holding money redundant when other government sectors are suffering with deficits. Every agency that fails to account for the funds will be forced to refund it,” he warned.

However, the delays in utilising the money were attributed to inadequate technical manpower especially in the newly-created districts. This is said to limit the procurement pace.

The Uganda Road Fund was established in 2008 to manage money meant for road works.

The fund emphasises on road maintenance to make roads safe for the users.
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Old April 24th, 2011, 02:53 PM   #167
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Kenya-Uganda oil pipeline project at stake
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Engineers work on the pipeline. Photo/FILE

By JAINDI KISERO
Posted Monday, April 25 2011 at 00:00
Political instability in Libya is beginning to take a heavy toll on the progress of the Kenya Uganda oil pipeline — one of the most critical regional infrastructure projects in East Africa.

Correspondence seen by The EastAfrican shows that Kenya and Uganda have now insisted that they will delay any equity injection into the joint venture with Libya’s Tamoil East Africa Ltd until after the project has taken off the ground.

The two governments have also demanded that the Libyans pay off landowners along the way leave of the project.

When the parties first signed a Heads of Agreement in January 2007, the understanding was that Kenya and Uganda would each inject 12.5 per cent in equity into the company.

It was also agreed that the two East African countries would contribute land on the way leave as part of their equity contribution.

In Kenya, the Ministry of Lands has released the compensation schedules for parcels of land along the project’s way-leave to be acquired through easements and outright land acquisition.

The submitted schedule contains about 2,107 formally and informally subdivided plots with an estimated total compensation cost of Ksh520 million ($6.19 million).

The tough conditions given to the Libyans by Nairobi and Kampala are a reflection of growing impatience about a project that was supposed to have been commissioned more than three years ago.

The success of the multimillion-dollar project is especially critical for Kampala, which must urgently prepare to start pumping oil from its yet to be built refinery to Kenya —the largest economy in the region, and destined to be the biggest export market for Uganda’s refined oil.

Following discovery of oil in Uganda, Kampala has demanded major alterations of the original designs for the pipeline.

In May 2008, the Libyan company submitted a front end engineering design for a 10-inch diameter uni-directional pipeline that was approved by both Kenya and Uganda the JCC in June 2008.

But Kampala now wants a redesign of the pipeline to provide for future reverse flows between Kenya and an inland refinery Uganda is constructing.

Already, the Libyans have submitted an updated design recommending the construction of a 12-inch diameter reverse flow pipeline.

Started with pomp and fanfare and touted as among the top priority infrastructure projects in the region, the pipeline has been dogged by major delays.

While the heads of agreements were signed as far back as January 2007, it has taken an inordinately long period for the Libyans to move to the so-called final investment stage.


Environmental impact assessment certificates and licences from NEMA Kenya and NEMA Uganda issued in 2008 expired in July last year.

An inter-governmental agreement between Kenya and Uganda that is a conditional precedent for the project to move to the next stage is yet to be signed.

Other agreements still pending include an implementation agreement for the construction phase, between Kenya, Uganda and Tamoil, a shareholders agreement between the joint partners and incorporation of the joint venture company (JVC); neither have the parties concluded the crafting of memoranda and articles of association for the joint venture company.

The way-leave acquisition process, which was being undertaken by the governments in collaboration with Tamoil, is substantially complete.

A feasibility study undertaken in 1999 by Penspen Ltd and a complementary study undertaken in 2001 by Nexant Ltd established that the uni-directional pipeline from Eldoret to Kampala was economically and financially viable and technically feasible.




Uganda half-year growth projected at 9pc pushed by manufacturing, construction
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Strong growth in the manufacturing and construction sectors is directly linked to increased access to credit in the private sector. Photo/FILE

By BERNARD BUSUULWA
Posted Monday, April 25 2011 at 00:00
Steady growth in the manufacturing and construction sectors have pushed Uganda’s half-year overall economic growth to 9 per cent.

But tighter access to credit and resurgent inflation are likely to slow down growth in the second half of 2011, according to analysts at the International Monetary Fund.

Though the economy recorded growth, rising fuel and food prices are likely to erode these gains, says the IMF.

Political upheaval in the Middle East has triggered sharp hikes in global crude oil prices with a barrel hitting the $125 mark for the first time in more than two years, leading to knock-on increases in fuel prices and other consumer goods in developing countries.

The prolonged dry spell experienced last year in many parts of Uganda has also led to spikes in prices of basic consumer goods, particularly staple foods like matooke, beans and maize flour.

The rise in food prices is reported to have disrupted the school programme with a number of boarding primary and secondary schools breaking off prematurely for the Easter holiday due to depleted stocks.

The agricultural sector on the other hand posted weak performance, according to statistics compiled by the Bank of Uganda.

Strong growth in the manufacturing and construction sectors is directly linked to increased access to credit in the private sector motivated by a previous decline in yields on government securities between mid 2009 and November 2010.

But steady recovery in yields on government paper experienced over the past five months, despite slight declines, and surging inflation have reversed growth in private sector credit, prompting weaker growth projections for the final months of 2011.

Headline inflation rose to 11.1 per cent last month compared with 6.9 per cent in February while overall economic growth for this year is projected at 6.5 per cent.

“Uganda’s economic performance continues to be strong, but there will be significant policy challenges in the coming months. Expansionary fiscal spending has increased the importance of rebuilding of cushions on fiscal balances and international reserves. At the same time, inflation is rising rapidly, due to both higher domestic and international food prices, rising fuel costs, exchange rate depreciation, and high rates of private sector credit growth,” reads an IMF statement issued this month.

Substantial declines witnessed in yields on government paper for much of last year prompted many commercial banks to devote more resources to lending with a big chunk of funds being directed towards highly attractive ventures in the manufacturing, service and construction sectors.

Visible momentum in regional integration has ignited sharp demand for goods manufactured in Uganda, leading to expansion plans among producers of household goods, construction materials and stationery coupled with higher demand for credit.
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Old April 29th, 2011, 02:42 PM   #168
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Civil society lobbies for railway
Wednesday, 27th April, 2011
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By Barbara Nambozo

THE Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group wants the Government to use a sh910b loan approved by Parliament for the construction of the Kampala-Entebbe highway to revamp the railway network.

The group argues that investing in railway and water transport would improve economic growth and development since maintenance of the facilities would be shifted to the private sector.

‘‘We believe the challenges in transport sector cannot be solved by constructing highways, but by integrating transport networks. The works sector should allocate more funds to improve railway and water transport,’’ Sam Mutabazi, a member of the group, said.

Mutabazi made the call while presenting the groups’ proposal on the 2011/12 to 2015/16 national budget to the physical infrastructure committee meeting at parliament yesterday.

This came after the Government agreed with neighbouring countries to revitalise railway transport to link to Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Southern Sudan through the Kasese-Kisangani, Gulu-Nimule-Juba, Masaka-Biharamulo and Pakwach-Juba-Wau lines.
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Old May 2nd, 2011, 03:26 PM   #169
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Uganda western railway line set to re-open
MONDAY, 02 MAY 2011 05:48 JOSEPH OLANYO
Kampala, Uganda - Thirteen years since then Uganda Railways Corporation (URC) ceased operations on Uganda’s western railway line due to commercial and technical reasons, plans are again underway to revamp them.

As part of its strategy to improve railway transportation, the Uganda government is to re-open the railway lines including the Kampala-Kasese line.
Through its Ministry of Works and Transport, the government is seeking services of a suitably qualified consulting firm to carry out and complete the assignment.

Hans Sbresny, a railway engineer, James Nyambari, RVR General Manager and Alex Macdonald, a consultant for the Kasese line discuss during the presentation of the study recently. Photo by Joseph Olanyo


An interim report submitted to Government by Technofin Consultants pvt in conjunction with International Development Consultants, shows that there is need to revamp the line following the economic activities that are taking place in the western part of the country.
Cement production at Hima, and limestone mining at Dura River, the dominant economic activity at the Western end of the Kampala-Kasese railway line need bulk transportation.

Hima cement expected to step up its production from 300,000 tonnes per annum to 960,000 tones per annum in 2011, currently transports its cement by road to its markets, the principle being Kampala.Limestone, a major input in the production for the cement plant, is transported by trucks, a distance of 80 km to Hima.The recent discovery of commercial oil deposits in western Uganda has given rise to increased economic activity and dire need for a railway transport.

The line is also expected to further ease transit traffic from the Indian Ocean port of Mombasa through Uganda to Rwanda, Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).Uganda accounts for 70% of transit traffic through the northern corridor route of Mombasa port.The Team Leader International Development Consultants, Mr Alex Macdonald, says three rehabilitation options have been defined. They include upgrade to standard gauge and minimum rehabilitation.

Macdonald said while positive impact expected will include improved transport facilities at reduced cost, increased economic activity and investment in agro-processing, negative impact of the construction will include disruption to persons required to move for the railway works.In order to increase efficiency and service delivery, the government of Uganda and Kenya signed a joint concession to manage their railways in 2006. However, the Kasese line was not part of the concession.

Rift Valley Railways (RVR) General Manager, Mr James Nyambari, says plans are also underway for the revival of passenger town service transport.
The move is expected to considerably ease transportation costs, congestion and horrific traffic jams in the city.The Kampala-Kasese railway line is a 208 mile (333km) metre-gauge railway line that starts at Kampala and ends at Kasese near Uganda's border with the DRC.

The line was constructed during 1952-1956 primarily to transport copper ore from the Kilembe mines to the refinery at Jinja.
To minimize costs, it was constructed with second-hand light weight rails, mainly light 30- year old track material lifted from Kenya and Tanzania.

At its peak in 1973, the Kampala-Kasese railway line handled 50.000 tonnes of goods traffic. From 1973 peak, traffic volumes fell to 30,000 tonnes in1991.
By 1997, the total traffic had risen to 70,000 tonnes of which 95% was cement.The deteriorating condition of the line, the resultant safety issues and the failure of low revenues to cover operational costs, fed on each other forcing URC to suspend operations in 1998.

Since then, more than 50% of the track sleepers have been stolen, and buildings and other equipment have been deteriorated or vandalized.
It is anticipated that even a minimum rehabilitation of the line would require laying of almost a complete new railway.


Uganda confirms refinery
MONDAY, 02 MAY 2011 06:50 PAUL TENTENA
KAMPALA, UGANDA- Uganda has finally settled for the construction of an oil refinery rather than a pipeline.
This was found less cost effective and, has a number of advantages over the construction of a 1950km pipeline to Dar es Salaam (southern route) or a 1325km pipeline to Mombasa (northern route) from the oil wells.

Uganda's state minister for mineral development Peter Lokeris told a workshop that was organized in Kampala to present results of the feasibility study on the oil refinery development, which the country finally agreed to construct."Yes we agree there will be need for construction of smaller pipes from the wells to the refinery. That is acceptable and will be done but not the one to Mombasa or Dar es Salaam," said Lokeris.

As part of the implementation of the National Oil and Gas policy and in line with the recommendations by the East African Strategy for Development of Regional Refineries, the government through the Ministry of Energy and Mineral development, with support from the Royal Norwegian government commissioned a feasibility study for development of a petroleum refinery.

Foster Wheeler Energy Ltd, an engineering firm from the United Kingdom was contracted to undertake the study. The study also aimed at recommending the optimum size, configuration, location and financing options for the refinery. It was also undertaken with an overall objective of supporting short term plans for commercializing the discoveries.

Lokeris said the government is considering phasing the development of the refinery to start with 20,000 barrel production per day.
"This will be early refinery in the short term which will be upgraded to 60,000 barrels per day refinery in the medium term, with expansion to 120,000 barrels per day in the long-term," explained Lokeris.

He said the government policy encourages the private sector to invest in the oil and gas industry. "The policy provides for public- private- partnership (PPP) giving government the opportunity to participate in business interests," he added.According to Mr. Gerald Banaga, the head of the Midstream Petroleum Unit at the Energy Ministry said, Uganda will be able to reap about $3.2b in profits within a period of 2.7 years after construction of the refinery.

"The market exists in South Sudan, east DR Congo, Rwanda, Burundi and we can decide to go into direct competition with the Kenya Petroleum Refineries Limited for the western Kenya and Tanzania market," Banaga told petroleum stakeholders. He said the total operating costs for the refinery will be around $132m, other than the $500m for the pipelines and $110m for land acquisition where the pipes would pass.

"Uganda's crude has less sulphur. We were supposed to face pipe heating costs and the issue of policing the pipe," explained Banaga. Mr. Robert Kasade, the assistant commissioner oil exploration indicated Uganda's refinery will have a market of up to 100 million barrels.




Govt to repair Tororo - Soroti road at sh90b
Sunday, 1st May, 2011
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By MOSES NAMPALA

OVER sh90b has been remitted by the Government to facilitate the rehabilitation of the Tororo-Mbale–Soroti highway.

Dan Alinange, the Uganda National Road Authority communications manager, said civil works on the 149km road had started.

He said the funds to be used in the rehabilitation of the road were apportioned from money raised from local revenue collected by the Government.

Alinange made the disclosure last Wednesday while launching road safety campaigns for Uganda and Kenya organised by the World Bank and Total, an international company dealing in petroleum products.

He disclosed that the contractor, Dot Services, will use a two dimension approach with part of the labour force handling the Mbale–Tororo road section, while the other group will handle the Mbale-Soroti section at the same time.

“The two dimension strategy is meant to reduce inconveniences encountered by motorists using the route,” Alinange said.

Under the contract agreement with the works ministry, Dot Services is obliged to remove the existing tarmac layer, replacing it with a new one.

Other contract specifics include opening the drainage system as well as putting up a road walkway on the highway.

According to the agreement, the work that started in December last year, is supposed to be completed in December this year.

The Government embarked on rebuilding the road because of its economic gains, being the shortest route for cargo trucks destined for Sudan from the port of Mombasa in Kenya.

The rehabilitation of the road, initially designed to handle light traffic, comes after the road became impassable.

Motorists, especially taxi drivers operating on this route, have often blamed accidents on the poor state of the road.



Lake Victoria sanitation project to cost sh720b
Sunday, 1st May, 2011
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By Pascal Kwesiga

THE Government and four international financing agencies have signed a sh720b agreement to kick-start the implementation of the Kampala Lake Victoria Water and Sanitation (WATSAN) project.

Finance minister Syda Bumba signed the agreements with the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Germany development agency, the French agency for development and the EU-Africa infrastructure trust fund in Kampala yesterday.

This comes after Parliament approved the loan request by the Government on Thursday to start funding the project mid this year in the greater Kampala Metropolitan Authority.

Under the agreement, EIB and the French agency for development approved soft loans worth sh225b each to Uganda.

The Germany development agency and EU-Africa infrastructure trust fund approved grants worth sh68b and sh27b respectively.
Uganda will contribute over 117.7b to the project that is expected to last for five years.

EIB vice-president Plutarchos Sakellaris signed on behalf of his agency, while the French and Germany ambassadors to Uganda Aline Kuster-Menager and Klaus Dieter Duxmann signed on behalf of their countries.

Bumba said the project to be implemented by the national water and sewerage corporation includes rehabilitation and upgrading of Gaba I and II treatment plants.

About 80m euros will be used in restructuring and upgrading of the water distribution system and up scaling of urban poor service provision. Bumba added that about 86m euros will go into construction of a new water treatment plant at Katosi in Mukono district.

About 16m euros will be used for designs and in institutional and capacity building. Sakellaris observed that the project will make a crucial contribution to Uganda’s achievement of the millennium development goals by safeguarding and increasing access to safe drinking water and sanitation.

The state minister for water and environment Jessica Eriyo noted that the largest water and sanitation project in sub-Saharan Africa if implemented will address the growing water supply challenges of the rapidly increasing population in the country’s capital city.

The WATSAN project which targets a population of 4 million people by 2025 in Kampala also aims at increasing water production at Ggaba I, II and III complex from the current 150,000cubic millimetres per day to 240, 000 cubic millimetres per day.

This will involve upgrading of Ggaba I production capacity to at least 80, 000cubic millimetres per day and restoring the capacity of Ggaba II to 80, 000 millimetres per day.

Restructuring and upgrading of water distribution system will involve replacement of old pipelines, laying of larger capacity water mains and reorganization of the water distribution systems into hydraulic distinct zones to ensure proper pressure and demand management.
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 09:20 PM   #170
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Uganda Travel And Tourism News: Sembabule District Sets Roads Committee


The Sembabule district Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Sarah Nakalungi has set up a special committee to monitor the roads construction and rehabilitation in the district.
The CAO has made a committee in response to the residents’ complaints that the roads are in the poor state and those given the work to maintain them do shoddy work.

Nakalungi says that she has received a letter from Kinon and Mabinde villages asking her office not to pay Everlast Construction Company that constructed a road in those villages which the residents say is substandard. She says that she is yet to produce the letter to the responsible committee for discussion.

Nakalungi says the newly set special committee will always be going down to the area where roads are being constructed or maintained and make reports on the progress.





Uganda western railway line set to re-open
MONDAY, 02 MAY 2011 05:48 JOSEPH OLANYO
Kampala, Uganda - Thirteen years since then Uganda Railways Corporation (URC) ceased operations on Uganda’s western railway line due to commercial and technical reasons, plans are again underway to revamp them.
As part of its strategy to improve railway transportation, the Uganda government is to re-open the railway lines including the Kampala-Kasese line.
Through its Ministry of Works and Transport, the government is seeking services of a suitably qualified consulting firm to carry out and complete the assignment.

Hans Sbresny, a railway engineer, James Nyambari, RVR General Manager and Alex Macdonald, a consultant for the Kasese line discuss during the presentation of the study recently. Photo by Joseph Olanyo

An interim report submitted to Government by Technofin Consultants pvt in conjunction with International Development Consultants, shows that there is need to revamp the line following the economic activities that are taking place in the western part of the country.

Cement production at Hima, and limestone mining at Dura River, the dominant economic activity at the Western end of the Kampala-Kasese railway line need bulk transportation.

Hima cement expected to step up its production from 300,000 tonnes per annum to 960,000 tones per annum in 2011, currently transports its cement by road to its markets, the principle being Kampala.Limestone, a major input in the production for the cement plant, is transported by trucks, a distance of 80 km to Hima.

The recent discovery of commercial oil deposits in western Uganda has given rise to increased economic activity and dire need for a railway transport.
The line is also expected to further ease transit traffic from the Indian Ocean port of Mombasa through Uganda to Rwanda, Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Uganda accounts for 70% of transit traffic through the northern corridor route of Mombasa port.The Team Leader International Development Consultants, Mr Alex Macdonald, says three rehabilitation options have been defined. They include upgrade to standard gauge and minimum rehabilitation.

Macdonald said while positive impact expected will include improved transport facilities at reduced cost, increased economic activity and investment in agro-processing, negative impact of the construction will include disruption to persons required to move for the railway works.

In order to increase efficiency and service delivery, the government of Uganda and Kenya signed a joint concession to manage their railways in 2006. However, the Kasese line was not part of the concession.
Rift Valley Railways (RVR) General Manager, Mr James Nyambari, says plans are also underway for the revival of passenger town service transport.
The move is expected to considerably ease transportation costs, congestion and horrific traffic jams in the city.

The Kampala-Kasese railway line is a 208 mile (333km) metre-gauge railway line that starts at Kampala and ends at Kasese near Uganda's border with the DRC.The line was constructed during 1952-1956 primarily to transport copper ore from the Kilembe mines to the refinery at Jinja.

To minimize costs, it was constructed with second-hand light weight rails, mainly light 30- year old track material lifted from Kenya and Tanzania.
At its peak in 1973, the Kampala-Kasese railway line handled 50.000 tonnes of goods traffic. From 1973 peak, traffic volumes fell to 30,000 tonnes in1991.
By 1997, the total traffic had risen to 70,000 tonnes of which 95% was cement.

The deteriorating condition of the line, the resultant safety issues and the failure of low revenues to cover operational costs, fed on each other forcing URC to suspend operations in 1998.

Since then, more than 50% of the track sleepers have been stolen, and buildings and other equipment have been deteriorated or vandalized.
It is anticipated that even a minimum rehabilitation of the line would require laying of almost a complete new railway.





Bujagali power project set to generate first unit in October
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Work in progress. Commissioning of the first unit generation of 50 mega watts is set for October. FILE PHOTO

By Faridah Kulabako
Posted Tuesday, May 3 2011 at 00:00
Ugandans will in a period of five months start enjoying more electricity supply after Bujagali hydropower project officials announced that all is set to commission the first unit generation in October.

Bujagali Energy Limited (BEL) project construction manager, Mr William Groth told journalists prior to an interdenominational prayer service at Dumbel Island that over 95 per cent of the work is complete.

The interdenominational prayer service was conducted in memory of people who were buried at the island, the project site, which is to be inundated (flooded).

The prayer is one of BEL’s final social and environmental assessment requirements and programmes being implemented alongside the construction of the hydropower project ahead of the first generation.

“We want to accord respect to the community and the unknown people laid to rest at the site because it’s critical in ensuring that the project partners fulfill their obligations of respecting the social beliefs of the project affected people,” Mr Zakalia Lubega, BEL Team Leader in charge of Community Liaison noted.

Mr Lubega added that the prayer was an important cultural aspect that will allow the project to co-exist harmoniously with the local community.

Early last month, contractors diverted the waters of River Nile to flow through the Western Channel and the newly constructed power house and gated spillway to allow the construction of the eastern embankment, the last major phase of the project.

Mr Groth noted that works on the eastern embankment, which will connect the central dam and the eastern bank of the river, will be concluded by August to pave way for the filling of the created reservoir and the subsequent commissioning of the first unit generation of 50 mega watts in October. The full commissioning of the remaining 200 mega watts is scheduled for April next year.

The US$860m hydropower project is expected to transform lives of millions of Ugandans by providing them affordable electricity and boost the country’s industrial potential.

The cost of doing business in Uganda is one of the highest in the region due to high electricity tariffs and frequent load shedding




Uganda commissions the Mpanga hydro power project in Uganda
EBR Staff Writer
Published 02 May 2011
The construction of the Mpanga hydro power project in Kamwenge District, Uganda has been completed and is now operational.

The construction of the UGX30bn ($13m) project was started in 2007 in Mpanga village, Kabeza parish, Kanara sub-county under the funding of South Asian Energy System contracted by a Sri Lankan-based NGO VSHYDRO.

When Bujagali, Karuma, Ayago and Isimba power stations are completed, the country will have acquired 80MW from River Nile.

Thie project will increase the hydro potential of River Mpanga as it drops down over the great western rift valley onto Lake George.

Uganda Minister for Energy and Mineral Development Hillary Onek said that the facility, with a design flow of 16m3/s, will deliver an annual energy of 68GW hours.

The Minister also said that after connecting the project to the national grid, the Rural Electrification Agency will distribute the power to the community in Kamwenge District at a small fee.
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Old May 7th, 2011, 03:07 PM   #171
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Mpanga Hydro power Project Commissioned!

President Museveni Commissioning the Mpanga power project.
By Our Reporter.


President Museveni has revealed that the government will subsidise the connection to the national grid to give more people in rural and semi-urban areas electricity. This was during the commissioning of the 18MW Mpanga hydro-power dam in Kamwenge District recently.
Africa Energy Management systems Mpanga, a subsidary of South South-Asia Energy Management Systems based in the US owns the USD26m project which got underway in 2008.

Museveni said that this was a sign that their first project indicated good business and confidence in the government and the institutional framework that supports the investment.“This is what our elaborate reforms in the power sector were meant to achieve. We commit ourselves to working with you to ensure that your investments are secure and that they provide benefits to you and the people of Uganda,” he said.

He further stated that the government will soon commission the 6.5MW Ishasha in Kanungu, the 9MW Buseruka in Hoima, the 3.5MW Nyagak in Nebbi and the 6.8MW Kinyara – Bagasse project which will by the end of the year, the renewable energy generation from non – Nile resources will be 80MW as compared to 20MW four years ago.
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Old May 8th, 2011, 04:11 PM   #172
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Gulu gets tree project

By Cornes Lubangakene

STRAIGHT Talk foundation, through its Tree Talk programme, is to plant 4.5 million trees in Acholi sub-region as well as Moyo and Adjumani districts in West Nile sub-region in the next two years.

Simon Peter Amunau, the programme manager, said the sh2.35b ($1m) three-year project funded by the Royal Danish Embassy aims at mitigation of climate change and global warming in the sub-regions.

During the programme launch at Churchill Courts Hotel in Gulu last week, Amunau said: “The Royal Danish Embassy has realised the negative effects of climate change and through this programme, they have come to help the communities engage in tree planting in order to reduce global warming.”
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Old May 10th, 2011, 11:17 PM   #173
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Govt to expand 442 schools to cater for USE
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By Patience Ahimbisibwe (email the author)
Posted Monday, May 9 2011 at 00:00
At least 442 secondary schools will be upgraded to accommodate free A-Level education next year.
The project is part of the strategic plan to support Universal Post-Primary Education and Training, aimed at increasing access, improving quality and enhancing efficiency of post-primary education.

Under the World Bank’s support, the second phase of the project will cost $125m (about Shs275b) to construct classrooms, libraries, multipurpose science rooms, teachers’ houses, sanitation and hygiene facilities.

“Four hundred-forty schools will be upgraded to A-Level status. The intervention will ease congestion in USE schools and also prepare for Universal Advanced Level education,” Mr Fortunate Ahimbisibwe, spokesperson for the Ministry of Education, said in a statement.


Stakeholders’ training
Already, 218 schools are under construction in over 70 districts under phase one. As Ministry of Education launches the second phase today, different stakeholders will be trained to manage school based procurement and construction at Kamonkoli Secondary School in Budaka District.

The 10-year project will see 3,838 classrooms, 138 libraries, 384 multi-purpose science rooms, 76 teachers’ houses, and 1,570 sanitation and hygiene facilities constructed.

A total of 600,328 students are enrolled under USE scheme, with at least 44 per cent being girls.
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Old May 17th, 2011, 05:51 PM   #174
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Source of Nile vantage point to get Shs2.5 billion facelift
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Nile Breweries Uganda has rolled out a Shs2.5 billion facelift drive that will see the Source of the Nile attract more tourists. PHOTO BY JANE NAFULA

By Abubaker Kirunda (email the author)

Posted Tuesday, May 17 2011 at 00:00
One of the most attractive tourist destinations in the country, the Source of the Nile vantage point in Jinja is to get a Shs2.5 billion facelift.

The site is where people go to view where Africa’s longest river, the Nile, starts its winding course. Mr Moses Zikusooka, the project manager of Nile Breweries Uganda, the company funding the project, said the company was ready with the resources to commence the beautification exercise.

Mr Zikusooka announced the development during a council meeting chaired by speaker Mathew Mukwaya that saw councillors unanimously pass a resolution endorsing the programme and send it to the technical committee for further scrutiny.

Breweries spell terms
Mr Zikusooka said in exchange, Nile Breweries will enjoy the benefits of selling its name (marketing) and products at the Source of the Nile as Jinja municipal council maintains management of the site.
He said the five-year joint venture will see Shs507 million being sunk in the developments at the site every year.

He said in these five years, Nile Breweries hopes to develop infrastructure, which will involve construction of a tourist viewing deck, a canopy crossing to the western side of the Nile, coffee shop, an information centre, flush toilets and erection of benches in the gardens.

Me Zikusooka said modern botanical gardens and erection of directional signage from the bridge to the Source of the Nile will be done in addition to upgrading the ground emerged with Golf Club, Rugby Football Ground and Jinja Agricultural Show Ground.

He said with the facelifts, the number of tourists visiting the site is likely to double to 10,000 from 5,000 per month. Meanwhile, the municipal council approved a proposal to set up a zoo at the source of the Nile to boost the number of tourist attractions.
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Old May 17th, 2011, 08:59 PM   #175
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1. Kwanyiny Gravity flow scheme in Kweenyi District









This project commenced on December 2010 and will be ending in May 2011. It consists of 2.1 km of transmission line 150 cubic meter and 12km of distribution line with over 50 connections of yard taps.



2. Rehabilitation of Usuk Ongongoja Orungo Corner Road in Katakwi District









This is a road project that commenced on the 1st of February 2011 and it will be running for 3 months, it is funded by ministry of Local government under CAIIP.



3. Kibega - Ngira - kanyanya Road 21km Kiruhura District









This was a local government funded project activities done on the road included opening, shaping, grading & gravelling.



4. Omdoi – Olupe Ngariam Road 16km Katakwi District








This road was completed in May 2010 and was funded by Katakwi local government.



5. Kalule-Bowa-Nakaseke-Kiwoko 38km (On Going)








This project is funded by National Roads Authority, activities involved include heavy grading, Drainage works, and Gravelling.





6. Construction of 3 Valley Tanks in Katakwi

Construction of 3 Valley Tanks in Katakwi.


Busiika track gets new face
BY FRANK SERUGO
Proprietors of the Uganda Motorsport racetrack at Busiika have given it a facelift to meet international standards at a cost of Shs20m. According to Arthur Blick jnr, a racer, proprietors set out to redesign the 35-acre track after getting tips from Canadian motorbike expert Mitch Cooke. The track will this weekend host the third national motocross round.

Riders prepare to take off during one of last year’s championships. (FILE PHOTO)

“We have at least made the track 50 per cent sandy to fit the required international standards. Riders will need to get used to it, and I believe by the time the redesign is 100 per cent sandy, many will have learnt to deal with the new changes,” said Blick.

Many riders are set for the weekend action, where former national champion Assaf Natan and fast-rising youngster Maxime Van Pee are expected to put up a spirited show against Blick in the open class category.


Jinja gets sh2.5b boost for tourism
Tuesday, 17th May, 2011
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By Charles Kakamwa

NILE Breweries and Jinja Municipality have sealed a sh2.5b deal to develop the Source of River Nile Tourist Site in Jinja town.

A special council meeting on Monday unanimously approved a proposal for a joint venture under, which Nile Breweries will contribute sh507m annually towards the project for a period of five years.

Moses Zikusooka, the breweries project manager, told councillors that they would focus on the development of infrastructure at the site including the construction of modern coffee, souvenir and handicraft shops and toilet facilities.

A bridge will also be built across the river at the spot where the Source of the Nile is located to allow visitors cross from the eastern part of the river (Jinja) to the western side (Njeru).

“This will improve the viewing by visitors.

“Viewing can be done over the water,” Zikusooka said. He explained that they also hoped to start tree- planting activities for environment conservation, garbage recycling and several other activities to market the place as a leading tourist site.

“We shall have fun activities on the Nile and annual music concerts featuring international artistes to market the Source of River Nile,” Zikusooka pointed out.

He noted that the major focus would be to double the number of visitors to the site from the current 5,000 monthly.

“This will translate into improved income for the Municipality through entrance fees,” he pointed out.

He noted that Nile Breweries would use the deal to market and sell its products.

He explained that the Source of River Nile is one of the major historical sites in Uganda and the world but its economic potential was not fully exploited.

“Let us ensure that the stories people from all over the world hear about this place match the reality,” he advised.

Last edited by u.g boy; May 18th, 2011 at 09:02 AM.
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Old May 20th, 2011, 10:53 PM   #176
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Riders laud new Busiika motocross track
Thursday, 19th May, 2011
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Asaf Natan flies his bike at the modified motorcross track at Busiika last Sunday
By Johnson Were

THE newly up graded Uganda Motorsport Arena at Busiika that will host the third round of the national motocross championship on Sunday will improve riders’ skills ahead of the regional championship in June.

National champion Arthur Blick said the new track matches international standards and would help riders acquire and master skills to benefit them in international events.

“It’s a 2km track like the others but this has more and higher jumps, sharp corners and sand like international tracks which will improve on our riders skills,” Blick stated after the launch on Sunday.

Upcoming star and Blick’s rival Maxime van Pee lauded the track and promised to train and defeat Blick and Asaf Natan in the next championship.

“It’s a challenging track but it’s good for us. I know Blick and Asaf are experienced and good but I want to beat them here,” Maxime explained.

The truck will host four of the eight championships on the motocross calendar and Garuga track also four championships.
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 04:33 PM   #177
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AfDB gives $64m for Uganda’s rural infrastructure
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A road under construction in Uganda. About 1,450km of community access and feeder roads have been built since 2007. Picture: File

By JULIUS BARIGABA, Special Correspondent (email the author)
Posted Sunday, May 22 2011 at 12:22
The African Development Fund has approved a $64.8 million loan to improve Uganda’s rural agricultural infrastructure.


The Community Agricultural Infrastructure Improvement Programme (CAIIP-3) focuses on improvement of community access roads, building of markets structures and equipping farmers with agro processing facilities.

In recent years, donor-funded programmes in the agriculture sector have given hope that projects geared at increasing productivity could restore agriculture as the economy’s leading earner.

Despite these efforts, agriculture accounts for less than 20 per cent of Uganda’s $17.5 billion GDP, reflecting the weak state of the sector that employs 80 per cent of the country, majority of whom are poor. The sector’s contribution to GDP has been declining, having peaked at 73 per cent in 1977.

In view of this persistent fall, CAIIP, has been designed to operate at sub-county level to make sure that the required infrastructure reaches the communities.

“Our consultants look at different farmer communities and recommend relevant interventions. We then respond according to the economic activity of that community,” said Grace Nakanjako, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, CAIIP.


The loan, approved by the bank’s board on May 3 in Tunis, is a follow-up on two earlier phases of the programme namely, CAIIP-1 and CAIIP-2, which resulted from a 2005 AfDB review of Uganda’s agricultural and rural sectors.


Based on the same design and implementation template as its predecessors, the programme involves investment in agricultural infrastructure, notably, community access roads, markets, agro-processing facilities and rural electrification.

It targets areas not covered by CAIIP-1 or CAIIP-2 and will reach 31 districts, representing approximately 30 per cent of Uganda’s total land area, serving 1.9 million rural households, in the Western, Central, Northern and Eastern regions.

Available data shows that 1,450km of community access and feeder roads out of the targeted 2,900km have been built since the programme started in 2007. This has eased transport of produce to the market place, with 77 market structures already built.

Critics have labelled government the biggest enemy of the sector, for not giving it priority in terms of funding. They cite lack of storage and produce handling facilities such as warehouses, farm equipment and electricity.

Equipment

To get away from this criticism, CAIIP provides equipment ranging from rice hullers to maize milling machines and coffee hullers.

Among dairy farming communities, 40 milk coolers have been provided, but with many of these being off the national power grid, the programme has had to weigh in with power generators. These facilities are accompanied with appropriate housing.

In some areas, according to Ms Nakanjako, other rural electrification components have been preferred to enable the milk coolers keep running.


Collectively, farmers at sub-county level, transporters of produce from farmers to markets and suppliers of equipment are the immediate beneficiaries.


The programme will be implemented by the same team involved in the two successive programmes drawn from within the local government ministry, which was recognised by IFAD in November 2010 for “Best Management in Africa”, among projects co-financed by IFAD.

The Islamic Development Bank is currently reviewing a parallel $10 million investment in CAIIP-3 to complement the Bank’s loan and expand the project’s physical infrastructure targets.




China $4.6b railway deal to test Kenya’s relations with Uganda
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The Northern Corridor, is anchored by the port of Mombasa in Kenya and has an estimated total cost of $2.1 billion. The top priority project list includes five port projects, five rail projects, and eight road improvement projects. The projects are split almost equally between the Northern and Central corridors in terms of investment cost of US$ 0.9 billion each.

By JAINDI KISERO, The East African (email the author)
Posted Sunday, May 22 2011 at 12:19
Chinese construction company, China Roads and Bridge Corporation, has successfully lobbied Kenya to pull out of a bilateral agreement signed with Uganda in October 2008.


The agreement committed the two neighbours to co-operate on the building of a modern railway link between the port of Mombasa and Kampala.

If the proposal by China Roads is accepted, it will not only precipitate diplomatic tensions, but force Uganda into seeking partnership with Tanzania and Rwanda to develop an alternative standard gauge railway link through the Central corridor in Tanzania.

On October 28, 2008, presidents Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Mwai Kibaki of Kenya at State House, Nairobi, made an official declaration that the two countries would build a high capacity standard gauge railway link between them.

Subsequently, a bilateral agreement was signed by the respective ministries dealing with railways on October, 2, 2009 — with the countries committing to a seamless modern railway between them.

Kenya was — from its own resources — to build a standard gauge railway from Mombasa to Malaba, with Uganda building the link to Kampala.

Last year, Kenya went ahead and provided money in its annual budget to fund preliminary designs and an environmental impact assessment. Technical teams from the Kenya and Uganda governments worked together to harmonise the terms of reference for the feasibility studies in line with what had been agreed on under the bilateral agreement.

In the past two years, both countries have been trying to procure a consultant for a feasibility study on the project. However, as a result of appeals and objections by bidders, procurement of consultants by both countries have suffered major delays.

In March this year, the Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) which has been procuring a consultant for the Kenyan project was about to award the job to Italian firm Italferr SPA, when the Ministry of Transport ordered them to stop the process immediately.

“Since there is no one in government who is in support of the study, there is no need to proceed with it,” said a letter by Permanent Secretary Dr Cyrus Njiru to the managing direct of KRC, Nduva Muli. “I have been directed to advise you not to go ahead with this study as this is not consistent with the consensus within government.

These latest developments offer insight into the lobbying tactics and exploits by Chinese companies. It would appear that even as KRC technical officers and their Ugandan counterparts were working on the feasibility study — drawing terms of references and holding joint meetings — the Chinese were quietly plotting their own move.

Away from the limelight, the Chinese had signed a memorandum of understanding with then Transport minister Chirau Ali Mwakwere — in which they promised to assist in facilitating a government-to-government deal supported by concessional loans from the Chinese government.

The deal included an offer by the Chinese to conduct a free feasibility study for a standard gauge railway line between Mombasa and Nairobi on condition that if that study was adopted, China Roads and Bridge Corporation would be involved in the construction of the railway.

By coming up with a feasibility study covering the Nairobi-Mombasa stretch, the Chinese left Uganda out of the loop.

In a letter dated March 22, 2011, the Ministry of Transport simply dumped the free feasibility study done by China Roads and Bridge Corporation on the Ugandans, and informed them that the Kenya government had decided to go the route of a government-to-government with the Chinese.



KRC has advised the government against going with the Chinese on grounds that the proposal by China Roads is too expensive. The corporation has also argued that standard gauge railway line on the Northern corridor can only be feasible if it is approached regionally by looking at traffic to Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Eastern Congo.

KRC has also criticised the proposals by the Chinese on technical grounds. First, that the Chinese have not provided a detailed analysis of transport demand and forecast within the northern corridor,

Second, KRC says that the Chinese study has not provided details such as route options, the key characteristics of the chosen route, physical design investment requirement and operational features.

Third, KRC argues that the figures and methodology used by the Chinese in demand forecasting were old and unreliable. How the events will unfold in the coming weeks remains to be seen.

But Kenya — without a doubt — faces a big dilemma. Should it accept the proposal by the Chinese and risk a diplomatic tiff with its most important trading partner in the region? Or spurn the Chinese offer to appease and keep a worthy trading partner and neighbour.

Since the 2008 post-election violence in Kenya which disrupted movement of goods not only in Kenya but throughout the region, Uganda and Rwanda have been actively seeking alternative sea-bound routes to the Northern corridor.

A decision by Kenya to pull out of the bilateral deal to develop a new standard gauge rail so as to accommodate the Chinese is the kind of move that would definitely add fire to Uganda’s desire to pursue the option of the Central corridor which connects the port of Dar es Salaam with the hinterland of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Eastern DR Congo.

It is noteworthy that a railway line currently exists between Dar es Salaam and Isaka passing through all major towns in the country. That line is also links to Mwanza to the north and Kigoma to the south.

Cargo destined for Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and DR Congo can be railed to Isaka dry port and transported by road farther inland.

Chinese construction firms now handle over 20 per cent of the construction market on the continent. Indeed, the massive expansion of construction on the continent has provided a stage for a new scramble for Africa between Chinese and European firms.
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 11:57 AM   #178
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Shs1b northern water project launched
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By Emmanuel Opio & Bill Oketch (email the author)
Posted Monday, May 23 2011 at 00:00
A Shs1.08 billion water and sanitation project for the northern region has been commissioned in Lira Town.

The construction of the facility that will benefit the people of West Nile, Lango and Acholi sub-regions, has been awarded to M&S Building and Civil Engineering Construction Company.

The commencement of the project which is jointly funded by the development partners and the Ugandan government is slated for July 1, Mr David Obong Oleke, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Water and Environment, said on Friday during the commissioning of the project .

He said: “This region is recovering from a long instability due to the prolonged period of war and thus requires urgent efforts by the government for reconstruction and redevelopment.”

Mr Oleke added: “The government long-term goal is to ensure 100 per cent access to safe water services by the year 2015 for the entire urban population.”
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 07:24 PM   #179
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Minister promises better Kampala roads
Written by Lawrence Sserwambala
Wednesday, 18 May 2011 14:28
The minister of works, transport and communication Eng. Nasaasira, who is also one of the longest serving Ministers in the NRM Government, has promised a pothole free country road network by 2012.

After his swearing in as MP elect for Kazo county, Nasaasira says that roads especially those that are going to upcountry areas of the country are in a very good shape, while many others are under construction.

He also says that the potholes in Kampala, which people have used as yardstick for the measure of his failure as minister, has been under the local Government and not his ministry.

He however says that now that the roads in the city have been taken over the city Authority which is directly under the ministry, their status is going to improve steadily.

He has cited the lack of enough funds to improve on the road sector in Uganda, which he attributes to over dependence on the donor funds.

Nasaasira says that the Government has however overcome that problem because it can now fund its own road construction projects.

He also says that there is need to harmonise the concept of multi partism in the country between the opposition and the Government if there is to be unity and harmony among Ugandans.
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Old May 25th, 2011, 09:46 PM   #180
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FUFA gets land for field Featured
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[IMG]http://www.*****************/images/stories/bukedea%20land.jpg[/IMG]
FUFA president Lawrence Mulindwa being shown the piece of land

The national football federation has an opportunity to develop football in the country, after being offered land in Bukedea, Eastern Uganda.The district authorities used an opportunity when the federation president Lawrence Mulindwa was having his national tour to offer the national football federation land to build a stadium and an academy.

During a meeting between the federation president and members of Zone 10 at Bukedea town, federation president Lawrence Mulindwa was shown the over 6-acre land, that the district authorities had dedicated to sports. They however failed to develop it due to lack of funds.“We want the federation to take over this land and build us a good facility for playing football and an academy,” said the federation Zone I chairman Peter Okwi, as he led Mulindwa in the inspection of the facility, together with the district councilors and zonal delegates.

Mulindwa said that the ground will be included under the federation development projects, but only after certifying the ownership and getting the necessary documents.“We need such grounds at the grass root level to develop the game. We can build a pitch and an academy. It can also be used as a training home for national teams as we try to give them a national touch,” said Mulindwa.

But the Zone 10 delegates appealed to the federation to talk to National Council of Sports to see that some of the few grounds that they have are saved from extinction, Zone 10 chairpersons Issa Magoola said that there are proposals to turn Kamuli play ground into a market, build a church on Bugobi playground and also build a laboratory on the Kaliro High school playground. Also Kakindu and Bugembe stadiums are being encroached on and have had management wrangles in the past two years.

“If there is any way council and the education ministry can intervene on this, since these are the few grounds we still have. Then we will have helped in the development of sports in the country,” Magoola added.
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