MBALE – The company awarded the contract to construct Muyembe to Nakapiripirit road is on the spot over the slow rate of implementation of the road project.
A Turkish construction firm, Polat Yol Yapi, signed a contract with the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) in November 2019 to tarmac the 92.2km route of Muyembe to Nakapiripirit but has since then failed to take off.
It is now seven months ever since the contract was signed and six months down the road from the time the road construction was scheduled to start but there is no equipment on ground.
Although it is very clear that Polat Yol Yapi was advanced Shs 60billion to kick start the 92.2km road construction works, there is nothing taking place on ground apart from occasional visits by the company vehicles.
Mr Apollo Nagimesi, a resident of Muyembe says Polat Yol Yapi, the Turkish company and has no equipment site on ground but keeps hiring equipment from a local company; Ubantu Services Ltd which was working on a road in Tabagonyi to create an impression that work is going on.
“We don’t see anything on ground apart from a sign post and a local company; Ubantu services Ltd. But the road has remained poor, it is difficult to drive through and suffers environmental disruption several times per year,” said Mr Nagimesi.
When PML Daily visited the place where the site is supposed to be, residents said the company has failed and want UNRA to contract another company to construct the road.
A director at Ubantu services Ltd who asked for anonymity said works along Muyembe-Nakapiripirit road should have commenced six months ago but there is nothing so far. “But they only hijack our equipment which we are using on a road in Tabagonyi to create an impression that work was going on.”
According to UNRA the construction works being funded through a loan from the Islamic Development Bank to a tune of sh399.9bn were scheduled to start in January this year and was expected to take three years up to 30 March, 2023.
The road which starts at Muyembe at the end of the tarmac road from Mbale meant to connect to the Nakapiripirit-Moroto road which is already paved.
Although this was Polat Yol Yapi’s first contract in eastern Africa, the company has a global presence having executed similar contracts in the Middle East, Southern Africa and North America.
When contacted for a comment about the construction progress Mr Edip Yenen, the projects manager confirmed his firm won the contract to construct the road but later on said he does not understand English when pinned further.
“Yes, we won that contract, I don’t understand English maybe I give you another person please talk to this one,” Mr Yenen said but later another lady responded that her boss was not around before switching off.
The projects manager UNRA Mr George Sonko also consented that contract was won by Polat Yol Yapi, a Turkish company that is located in Naguru and that they are supposed to have kicked off the construction in January up to March 2023.
Mr Sonko revealed that at this time UNRA expected that they have mobilised equipment on ground, they have also done bush clearing and are also making the road motor able.
“But if up to now there is nothing on ground, then they could be having a problem if not they are still mobilizing funds to start the project,” said Mr Sonko.
He explained that UNRA has already advanced them some money to kick start the project and that he expects the company to write back to UNRA if they are incurring any problems.