Chinese plunk down over 300M dollars for roadwork to Entebbe Airport


UGANDA (eTN) – It was learned last week that the Uganda National Road Authority (UNRA) has completed the design work for the new dual carriage highway between the capital, Kampala, and the Entebbe International Airport, with construction expected to commence by mid 2011. It appears that the Chinese government is in the process of approving a major loan – one source put the amount in excess of US$300 million – towards the construction project, which should see transit time between the airport and the city substantially reduced when the new highway is ready.

Of added significance is one element of the new highway project, which is supposed to connect Kampala’s major leisure and conference facility on Lake Victoria, the Speke Resort, and the Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort with “Entebbe Road.” This was already proposed ahead of the 2007 Commonwealth Summit, branching off from the main Entebbe road near Kajjansi, but available resources and time did not ultimately permit this connection to be constructed, which – if found correct – will also open up the lakeshore views to road users. Another intersection is expected to link the home of Nkumba University, Abaita Ababire – located only a few kilometers from Entebbe – to the new highway. The exact routing, however, is still kept under lock and key to avoid unscrupulous elements profitting from last-minute land purchases, for which the government then has to compensate owners at a high cost.

UNRA has also remained quiet about a solution for the main bottleneck into the city, the Katwe area, where traffic for most of the day piles up kilometers on end in order to enter the central business district at one of the city’s main landmarks, the “Clock Tower.” Unless that section is turned fully into a one way – presently it is a partially mixed section with oncoming traffic – there is not much hope that entering the city, once reaching the bottle neck, will be any easier.