Sudan, Uganda sign MoU to develop infrastructureDaily Monitor
Business - August 28, 2008
Plans for the development of the proposed Gulu-Nimule-Juba-Wau railway line have been finalised following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Uganda and Sudan.
The MOU for the joint development of the proposed line was signed on August 26, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by the Governments of Uganda and Sudan.
The Gulu-Nimule-Juba-Wau (920 km) route is considered shorter than the earlier proposed route of Pakwach-Arua-Oraba-Yei-Juba, which is 1,028 kilometers. The memorandum that also covered other modes of transport was witnessed by a delegation of officials from the Government of South Sudan (GOSS).
The Minister of Work Mr John Nasasira signed on behalf of the government of Uganda, while Brig. General Philip Thon Leek Deng, the Minister of Transport, Roads and Bridges, signed on behalf of Sudan. The Uganda-Sudan meeting, which reportedly went deep into the night before the MOU was signed, was in the context of Decision Number five of the 5th Session of the Sudan-Uganda Joint Ministerial Commission held in March 2007 in Khartoum.
The meeting noted the need to have joint project proposals on the roads and railway lines connecting the two countries for purpose of soliciting funding. The meeting also established a Joint Ministerial Transport Commission (JMTC) to implement the decisions of the MoU and to jointly provide the development of transport infrastructure and services between the two countries
A statement from Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) said the bilateral meeting further discussed the status of the ongoing and planned projects on key roads connecting Sudan and Uganda. The roads are: Arua-Koboko-Oraba-Kaya-Yei-Juba Gulu-Atiak-Nimule-Juba-Malakal Moroto-Kotido-Kaabong-New Site-Kapoeta Kitgum-Ikotos-Torit. It was agreed to speed up the process of upgrading these roads to bitumen.
The statement said the Government has secured a credit from the World Bank to undertake a feasibility study and detailed design of the Vurra-Arua-Koboko-Oraba road, which is expected to commence in September 2008. It did not say how much the credit is.
However, it says upgrading to bitumen is expected to commence in March 2010. “During this financial year the road will undergo routine maintenance and full regravelling will commence in December 2008. Reconstruction of 14 bridges along the road is also expected to commence in December 2008.
Tenders for construction are due at the end of August,” said the statement from UNRA’s Corporate Communications Manager, Mr Dan Alinange. UNRA says the procurement for the feasibility study and detailed design for Gulu-Atiak-Nimule road (104km) is currently at technical evaluation stage and will be completed by September 2009.
The cost for construction of this road is currently estimated at $75.4million. Moroto-Kotido-Kaabong-New Site-Kapoeta road (265km) is scheduled to receive full regravelling commencing January 2009. Subject to availability of funds, upgrading works are expected to commence after June 2010. The road is estimated to cost $174million.
The Kitgum-Musingo (Border) 80km link lies in Uganda while the Musingo-Tsertenya-Ikotos-Torit (280km) is in Sudan. The feasibility study and detailed design of the entire link from Rwenkunye-Apac-Lira-Kitgum-Tsertenya is scheduled to commence in February 2009 and be completed in December 2009. Upgrading works estimated at US$150m are scheduled to commence in June 2010.