USMID delivers beacon of success in the east

USMID delivers beacon of success in the east
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Leaders in Soroti City say the improved infrastructure is facilitating economic development and boosting local revenues.

Regional cities in eastern Ugandan are seeing a major facelift, thanks to the infrastructure upgrades under the USMID programme.

Soroti, Mbale, Tororo, and Busia boast improved roads, drainage systems, and even streetlights.

These developments are credited with boosting economic activity and creating a more pleasant living environment for residents.

This USMID intervention is reflected in the aerial view of Soroti City, which is the heart of Teso. The city has seen a shift in the infrastructural developments in the recent past on the account of the World Bank-funded USMID programme implemented by the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development.

Leaders in Soroti City say the improved infrastructure is facilitating economic development and boosting local revenues.

"USMID has helped us to at least feel that the communities in the Soroti city are in the city with good roads now," Soroti Resident City Commissioner Peter Pex Paak said.

"Some of the roads that were worked on, are roads that lead to industrial activities, milling and stores for agricultural products."

"The revenue has taken an upward trajectory so, as a city, we are very grateful for the project and would wish that more money is added to work on other roads," Daniel Christopher, the Soroti City Town Clerk, added.

Indeed, Soroti City revenues have risen steadily over the years, from Shs564.4m in FY 2017/2018 to latest figures of Shs1.4 billion in the 2022/2023 financial year.

In Tororo and Busia municipalities, a number of roads and drainage systems have been developed under USMID.

Funding from the project has facilitated the construction of Busia SS Road extending for 0.176 Km, Wanyama Bonny Road 0.279km, market square 0.658km, Obernester Road 0.517km, Ekaka Road 0.658km, and Renovation and Refurbishment of the Taxi Park.

Busia Mayor Amin Sadik attributed the progress to intense community engagement and participation.

"People of Busia played a big role in having a good infrastructure in the country. Community engagements were conducted and fruits are visible," he said.

The third cluster of USMID-AF was a blessing to Mbale City in the Bugisu Subregion. Significant and extensive road infrastructure have been constructed in one of the Eastern region’s biggest cities.

"Under cluster 3, we are constructing 3.75km, we are at the physical progress of 87 percent," Johnston Watson Gimui, senior engineer for Mbale City, said.

"We expect by end of March, we shall have achieved 100 percent. We have achieved almost all the requirements for the roads, such as pavements, and we are remaining with road marking and street lights."

The USMID Programme Coordinator, Eng Isaac Mutenyo stressed the other benefits of the programme, besides infrastructure such as institutional capacity building.

Mutenyo added that USMID intervention has had a significant impact to benefiting areas.

"I think from where we started, there is a very good step toward achieving that objective of institutional capacity building. Of course, most of the things are the infrastructure that are on ground because these are tangible," he said.

"But behind that there is a lot that is happening and this includes, the training of staff, the urban centre staff, the town clerks who are the chief executives, the municipal engineers, the procurement people, there is also equipping, these cities, there is also developments of systems, for instance computer software for them to be able to plan, do designs, so a lot is done that cannot be seen but can only be realized from the performance of these entities.".

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