Japan donates sh33b for Northern Uganda
By John Odyek
Uganda and the Japanese government Thursday signed a US$14.5m (sh33b) grant agreement for promoting the resettlement of Internally Displaced People(IDPs) in Northern Uganda.
Finance minister Maria Kiwanuka who signed on behalf of Uganda said the grant would support Northern Uganda which faces a mammoth task to rebuild.
"It is a long Uganda journey which starts with a single step. A borehole built here and there will support women so they do not have to walk long distances," Kiwanuka observed.
The project funds targets five parishes in five districts of Acholi region of Gulu, Kitgum, Pader, Lamwo and Agago.
The funds will build 121 classrooms in 37 schools, 65 teachers houses, 24 boreholes, 73km of road surfacing, 29 culverts, four hospital wards and 97 toilets.
Kazuo Minagawa, ambassador of Japan to Uganda who signed on behalf of the Japanese government said the funds focuses on social infrastructure development in Acholi sub-region.
"The recovery process in Northern Uganda will be greatly facilitated for the benefit of the people in the region," Minagawa noted.
Hoshi Hirogumi, special representative Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) said under the umbrella of JICA-REAP (Reconstruction Assistance Program), they were engaged in many projects to contribute to the Peace Recovery and Development Plan (PRDP) for Northern Uganda process.\
Hirogumi said this included procurement for the project of tarmacking Atiak to Nimule road, the transport master plan was being prepared for the Acholi sub-region. They have also started a new project with the local governments in the sub-region to strengthen their capacity to plan and implement developmental activities.
Japan has given a soft loan of US$42m (sh97b) for upgrading the 36km Atiak to Nimule road.