USMID interventions in Albertine, Rwenzori boost tourism

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USMID interventions in Albertine, Rwenzori boost tourism
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The World Bank funded Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development Additional Funding Program (USMID-AF) has further opened up Albertine and Rwenzori Regions for enhanced and developed tourism sector due to flourishing economic and infrastructure developments in the two regions.

According to local authorities, USMID's interventions have enhanced both the beauty and functionality of infrastructure in the Albertine and Rwenzori regions.

Kasese town, located at the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, has of late boast of a modern road network built with World Bank funding under the USMID program.

Streetlights add a touch of beauty to these wide, expansive roads, creating a captivating scene against the backdrop of the famous Rwenzori Mountains.

"Roads used to be narrow and never had proper drainage. Roads now have four lanes, dark spots are no more," Saveri Tushabwowe, a Kasese resident testified.

Kasese Municipal engineer, Apollo Batwine, revealed that out of close to 34bn shillings that they received under USMID for roads, they made a saving of 11bn which was then used to extend construction and improve connectivity in the area.

"Upon conducting financial appraisal, we had a savings mounting to 11.bn shillings. Saving was used to improve connectivity and added 1.6km hence getting a total of 5.6Km under Batch 2 of USMID Funding," Mr. Batwine proudly noted.

Kasese's stunning new roads are a boon for local artisans. Traffic islands adorned with flowers and plants create a welcoming atmosphere, attracting tourists eager to buy crafts from the skilled vendors.

"My business Is now booming; my sales have increased. Am now able to pay school fees for my children and take care of the family needs,"said Jesca Kyakimwa, a craft dealer in Kasese Municipal.

The tale is similar in Fort Portal, Uganda's tourism hub, which has seen a surge in visitors thanks to improved USMID roads.

Nyakana Road, once dusty and impassable, is now a smooth route enjoyed by locals and transporters alike. The program has also provided a new lorry park for cargo vehicles.

"The face of the city is gradually changing positively in terms of smartness, beauty and street lights. We are extremely proud of the intervention. We now have first class roads that lack potholes, roads are so welcoming," Edson Asaba, Fortportal Tourism City Mayor remarked.

Similar infrastructure has been developed In Hoima city, the country’s cherished oil city. USMID has delivered 7.6Km of high-quality road infrastructure in the Albertine including Kampala Road, drainage systems and street lights, all geared toward improving the welfare of city dwellers.

Hoima City Mayor Adyeeri Brian Kaboyo revealed that, "All the roads have been completed, drainage system and street lights. What is pending is tree planting. USMID has created a lot of impact and communities have pride in the program."

Under the program, the city has also benefited from a new, state-of-the-art slaughterhouse that will provide a hygienic work place for meat vendors and ensure cleaner meat for consumers.

"USMID is the most visible project the government has ever had. It has uplifted our city. Our city abattoir has the capacity to slaughter 800 animals per day," Emphased Adyeeri.

USMID's smart reflections are also an amusement to Minister for Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Judith Nabakooba, who chunt the impact of the USMID-Additional Funding program in cities across the country as worth celebrating.

"We were able to get funding. We want to thank the government of Uganda, especially the president of the Republic of Uganda, for having allowed us as a ministry incharge of Urban development to implement this, " Minister Nabakooba applauded.

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