Govt Secures Tracking Device for New Road Equipment

3222 Views Luweero, Uganda

In short
The device known as Komtrax is an advanced remote monitoring data system that provides access to view specific machine data through a computer or mobile device. Its terminals are installed on the equipment to transmit information on location, cumulative hours of operation and operating condition of vehicles among others.

The Ministry of Works and Transport has acquired new road equipment fitted with a tracking system to track fuel usage and operations to fight misuse.

The device known as Komtrax is an advanced remote monitoring data system that provides access to view specific machine data through a computer or mobile device.  Its terminals are installed on the equipment to transmit information on location, cumulative hours of operation and operating condition of vehicles among others.

Information provided by Komatsu Limited indicates that the technology helps to identify the exact location of the equipment, provides an accurate fuel consumption report,  reports what the equipment is being used for at any given time and locks the equipment remotely. The unit also provides Out of Area alerts whenever the equipment is driven out of its area of operation.

The equipment, bought with a loan acquired from the Japanese government will be donated to the districts for routine maintenance of roads under their jurisdiction. It cost 509 billion Shillings.

Every district will get a grader, a wheel loader, two dump trucks and two water bowsers to establish a road unit. At least 200 out of over 1,000 expected equipment is already in the country. The last delivery will be made in March 2018.

State Minister for Works Gen Edward Katumba Wamala is optimistic that the technology will help government to track fuel usage and utilization of road equipment.  Gen Katumba says spells doom for persons who have been siphoning fuel from road equipment leading to loss of tax payer's money.
 
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The machine data server will be installed at the Ministry of Works and Transport to monitor operation of all the equipment.

But Paul Mukungu, the LC III Chairperson of Luweero Town Council wants the data servers for the equipment to be fixed at district headquarters so that Chief Administrative Officers and LCV chairpersons can monitor their use. He says that the tracking system may not be helpful when monitored from the ministry headquarters in Kampala.

Luweero District Chairman Ronald Ndawula applauded the initiative and the provision of road units saying it will help them to fight corruption while working on impassable roads in the communities.  Ndawula noted that impassable roads have paralyzed transportation of agricultural produce.

The Japanese Ambassador to Uganda Kazuaki Kameda says that the effectiveness of the road equipment will depend on their maintenance and asked districts to draft strategies for routine checkups. He also pledged more support to Uganda in infrastructure development.

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Operators from 34 districts located in Central Uganda are undergoing training at St Andrew Kaggwa S.S, Luweero on how to use and manage the road equipment. The Ministry will also train mechanics and other stakeholders on how to repair the machines when they break down. The ministry has also drafted guidelines and issued them to Chief Administrative Officers on how to use the machines for improved production.

 

About the author

Brian Luwaga
Since Brian Luwaga joined Uganda Radio Network in 2011, he is still amazed how, "URN is a place that gives journalists a chance to enhance their skills . It gives a journalist an opportunity to adopt and master various aspects of journalism that include radio broadcast, social media, photography and television production."

A practicing journalist since 2009, first with Star FM, Luwaga has always been keen to write about the concerns of the "common person." Based for much of his career in Luweero, Luwaga takes it as a compliment if politicians complain that his reporting is too harsh.

In his journalism, Luwaga likes to merge the past with the present. He believes you cannot understand what is happening now, if you do not have a grounding in the past. Brian Luwaga is the Luweero URN bureau chief. Nakasongola, Nakaseke, Mityana, Mubende and Wakiso districts fall under his docket.

Luwaga is interested in humanitarian work and is a keen Rotarian.