Compensation Squabbles Still Impede USMID Project in Hoima

2060 Views Hoima, Uganda

In short
Although work is ongoing in 13 benefiting municipalities, property owners in Hoima remain up in arms as they demand adequate compensation for the structures which may be damaged during the road works and infrastructure expansion. Hoima municipality has already received Ugx 3.9billion to implement the first phase of the project which however has no component for compensation.

Controversy still impedes progress in the much anticipated Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development (USMID) Project in Hoima district as compensation squabbles remain unresolved.


The project is a World Bank initiative designed to enhance the institutional performance of selected Local Governments (LGs) to improve urban service delivery in the context of a rapidly urbanizing society over a 5-year period.


This would be achieved through expanding urban infrastructure and enhancing the capacity of the selected municipal local governments to generate own source revenues, improve urban planning, and strengthen financial management, procurement, environmental and social systems.

Although work is ongoing in 13 benefiting municipalities, property owners in Hoima remain up in arms as they demand adequate compensation for the structures which may be damaged during the road works and infrastructure expansion. Hoima municipality has already received Ugx 3.9billion to implement the first phase of the project which however has no component for compensation.


On Tuesday, a team of Hoima Municipal technical officials led by the town clerk Emmanuel Banya started conducting house to house measurements of the roads with a view of showing property owners the extent to which their buildings would be affected by the project.  Banya explains that the exercise was in response to demands by property owners.


But even after the exercise, the property owners reiterated that the multi-billion shillings project will be resisted until compensation is effected.


Matovu Mukasa, one of the affected property owners on Main Street advised the municipal team to compute the compensation proportionate to the damage on his building instead of wasting effort on measurements and explanations.


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Town clerk Emmanuel Banya maintains they have no money to compensate the property owners, saying council will exploit all available avenues to reach an agreement with the property owners.
 
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Although council has all along announced that the project actual works would begin early September, this may take a while to be seen. Town clerk Banya reveals that work cannot begin without council sorting out such disagreements.
 
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The other benefiting municipalities are Arua, Gulu, Lira, Soroti, Moroto, Mbale, Tororo, Jinja, Entebbe, Masaka, Mbarara, Kabale, Fort Portal and Hoima.