Reaching Out to Uganda

( [email protected] ) Nov 14, 2003 11:32 AM EST

JAPAN continues to support Uganda in development initiatives. The Japan-Uganda cooperation has yielded several ongoing projects for Uganda. These projects are part of the Government of Japan's endeavours to support Uganda's self-help efforts in nation building.

Currently, besides several other projects, there are a number of ongoing Japanese Grant-Funded projects in the areas of Health and Sanitation, Agriculture and basic infrastructure in response to requests by the Uganda Government.

In an attempt to achieve the overall objectives of the Health Sector Strategic Plan (HSSP), the Uganda Government upgraded Soroti Hospital to a regional referral hospital and health centres IV as headquarters of each health sub-district. Similarly, health centres III were established in the districts of Kaberamaido and Katakwi.

Given the poor social infrastructure and big distances between most health units in the region, in March 2003, Japan positively responded to a request by Uganda to fund the "Project for Improvement of Health Care Services in Soroti region."

The project worth 164 million Japanese Yen (about US$1.4 million) is intended to improve the referral service delivery system among the health care facilities in the region by providing the essential equipment, including transportation and communication measures such as motorcycles and radio calls. The Project implementation is due in December this year.

Aware of the importance of rural water supply, Japan agreed to fund the "Project for Rural Water Supply in Central Uganda Phase II".

Through this project, about 120 boreholes shall be constructed in the districts of Masaka, Mukono, and Kayunga. The project shall also help to procure and provide equipment and materials for mobilisation and sensitisation of the beneficiary communities, and to provide the software assistance in capacity building, operation and maintenance system of the Water and Sanitation Committees of each village.

On the agricultural development front, two important studies are ongoing in central and eastern Uganda, through JICA, in line with the Plan for Modernisation of Agriculture (PMA). One of them is the "Study on Improvement of Post-Harvest Processing and Marketing System" in Uganda. This 42-months study is meant to formulate a detailed Development Plan aiming at the improvement of agricultural post-harvest processing and marketing system.

In addition, this project is also carrying out technical transfer of knowledge to the Ugandan counterpart personnel as well as the communities concerned. The project covers 14 districts, namely, Kamuli, Iganga, Jinja, Bugiri and Mayuge in eastern Uganda and Nakasongola, Luwero, Kiboga, Kayunga, Kampala, Mukono, Mpigi, Wakiso and Mubende in Central Uganda.

Efficient water use for production is quickly becoming a major challenge in terms of sustainable agriculture. In order to address this issue, JICA is currently undertaking the "Study on Poverty Eradication Through Sustainable Irrigation Project in Eastern Uganda". The main objective of this 36-months study project is to formulate a Development Plan for Eastern Uganda to promote sustainable irrigation development. It is also intended carry out capacity building of Ugandan counterpart personnel and concerned communities on paddy rice cultivation issues.

In the road sector, which is vital for sustainable economic growth, the "project for the improvement of trunk roads in kampala, Phase II" is currently underway. The project worth US$ 5.8million aims to improve Nateete and Gaba roads through the reconstruction of the carriageaways, installation of traffic lights, improvement of roadside drainage systems and construction of pedestrian sidewalks.

It is expected that the project will contribute not only to mitigating traffic congestion in kampala city, but also to increasing the level of socio-economic activities and security of the citizens.