The Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development plans to review the performance of town clerks in urban centres that are implementing the Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development programme (USMID).
USMID is a five-year World Bank-funded support programme meant to enhance infrastructural capacity of 14 municipalities across the country.
The beneficiary districts include Arua, Gulu, Lira, Soroti, Moroto, Mbale, Tororo, Jinja, Entebbe, Masaka, Mbarara, Kabale, Fort Portal and Hoima.
Opening the tenth programme technical committee meeting for USMID in Soroti Municipality on Tuesday, the State minister for Urban Development, Mr Isaac Musumba, said as senior technical civil servants in the district, the town clerks play a critical role in USMID implementation.
“Things like collecting garbage, naming streets, ensuring street lighting and orderliness in the town, remain the work of the town clerk. The district engineer, district planner, the district water engineer are all officers under the town clerk,” he said.
The meeting was attended by mayors and town clerks of all beneficiary municipalities, the ministry permanent secretary, Ms Dorcus Okalany and Dr Chris Baryomunsi, the State minister for Housing.
Ms Okalany introduced the participants to the new funding of USMID, also called USMID-AF (additional financing) that has been approved by the government following positive progress of the current programme that ends in December.
Dr Baryomunsi said the programme has contributed to economic infrastructure such as markets, slaughter houses, local access through district roads, and training district staff in key economic sectors.
He said it has also been instrumental in shaping the new look of the districts, which benefitted from the $150m (about Shs564b) project.
“We have lessons learnt and these are going to help us implement the second phase. We wanted strictly local persons and enterprises to benefit from the implementation of this project and they have done a very good job,” he said, adding that eight new districts have been brought on board with the second phase of the $360m (Shs1.3 trillion) project, which will benefit eight refugee hosting districts.
The support of infrastructural development to the new districts is expected to enable them cope with the pressure of current and future influx of refugees.
The beneficiary municipalities are Kitgum, Kasese, Kamuli, Mubende and four others to be added in the second year of implementation while the refugee hosting districts are Adjumani, Moyo, Yumbe, Arua, Isingiro, Kiryandongo Kamwenge and Lamwo.
The programme supports local governments in developing urban roads and associated infrastructure, urban transportation terminals. For example, bus, lorry parks and associated market stalls for vendors, urban solid and liquid waste management systems, and drainage and storm water management systems.
The other planned interventions are: Urban local economic infrastructure such as markets, slaughter houses, servicing land for industrial and commercial uses, cottage industries, tourism sites, urban beautification such as leisure/public parks, playgrounds, urban greening, and landscaping.