A joint team of Governments of Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) by the respective ministers of Transport and works Gen Edward Katumba Wamala and Alexis Gisaro shall today Friday 3rd December 2021 officially handover the sites (road projects) of Bunagana- Rutshuru to Goma in Goma and The Kasindi-Beni-Butembo in Beni to the contractor Dott Services Ltd.
The ministers will handover the site camps,borrow areas for materials sources in order to commence the physical mobilization to the work sites to start the construction.
Both the technical teams on 1st December, visited the equipment intended for works in DRC which are parked in a bond in Namanve. Dott Services ltd’s new equipment will be dispatched on 4th December,2021 in addition to those already in DRC.
The commissioner for roads and bridges at Uganda’s ministry of Works and Transport, Eng Stephen Kitonsa notes that today, the project steering committee shall hold a meeting in DRC, where, the contractor (Dott Services) shall be introduced to the leaders and officially, the campsite shall be handed over so as enable shifting of the equipment from Namanve.
The road equipment including excavators, tractors, rollers, vehicles for monitoring, trucks, and containers installed with office, accommodation and health facilities are assembled at Dott Services Limited base and others at Liberty Internal Custom Depot at Namanve industrial park.
The commissioner for roads and bridges at Uganda’s ministry of Works and Transport, Eng Stephen Kitonsa notes: “We’re so glad about the mobilization of equipment by Dott, they are now ready to begin the physical works. The contractor, Dott Services is going to be introduced to the leaders and officially is going to be handed the campsite. This is why the equipment is here because the site has not yet been handed to [Dott]. So the meeting on Friday is going to pave the way for the commencement of the physical works.”
Jameson Olonya, Dott Services contracts manager says some other equipment is still in transit but so far they are good to start. He assures that working in DRC is an opportunity to create a good public image of what they are able to do.
Jean Pierre Massala, the DRC ambassador to Uganda and also the chairperson of the steering committee is excited by the current step of procuring the equipment, saying once the project is completed, will continue strengthening the relationship of the two countries.
In September 2020, the Ugandan Government, through its agency UNRA, initiated a project to build over 200 kilometers (124 miles) of road inside neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo as part of plans to boost trade between the countries. Uganda will contribute about 20% of the project value while the rest will be met by Congo’s government in an envisaged public-private partnership.
DRC is Uganda’s second biggest regional trade partner after Kenya. It is envisioned that fixing DRC roads will improve mobility, security & boost Uganda’s trade and investment. In 2018, Uganda exported $221M worth of goods to DRC in formal trade, while informal trade stood at $312M making the total exports worth $533M. This therefore represents significant trade potential for Uganda.
On June 16, 2021, President Yoweri Museveni and his DRC counterpart Felix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo made a groundbreaking ceremony at Mpondwe-Kasindi. At least Shs 243.7 billion ($65.9m) will be spent on the entire project.
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