A Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development document says progress is being made on reducing the road maintenance backlog in the country although it's still below planned targets as the extent of the task is beyond the phisical capital readily available.
The National Budget Framework Paper for financial years 2008/09-2012/2013 states that mid-year perfomance in this sector is currently at 38 per cent of the perfomance of the annual planned target while perfomance of the paved road backlog is currently at five per cent of the annual target. The document adds that District Urban and Community Access Roads perfomance has also experienced similar trends with perfomance of district roads rehabilitated, maintained or opened currently are at 12 per cent of the annual targets.
"In areas of policy, planning and regulation, there has been intense restructuring of the ministry of Works to refocus on the large infrastructure challenges that the country faces.The transport masterplan has been developed in the face of an increasing population utilising roads and other transport services, " it notes.
Another publication titled 'background to the Budget' 2009/10 says emphasis this financial year will specifically be on construction, upgrading, rehabilitation and maintenance of critical roads that are important to promote production, competitiveness and regional trade.
Other ongoing works will however continue on the Northern corridor which comprises of highways from Busia/Malaba border posts to Mbarara/Katuna and Kampala to Nimule via Gulu as well as the attendant
tributaries such as Tororo-Mbale-Soroti including designs for duelling the 80 kilometre Kmapala-Jinja, the 30kilometrte Kibuye-Mpigi and the 17kilometre Northern bypass.
The ministry of Finance publication says during 2009/10 , construction, upgrading/rehabilitation will be carried out on a number of roads including Fort Portal-Bundibugyo-Lania (103km), Kabale-Kisoro-Bunagana (98km), Jinja-Bugiri;Soroti-Dokolo-Lira (124km), Gayaza-Zirobwe (55km), Kaiso-Tonya-Hoima (78km), and Matugga-Semuto-Kapeeka (42km), .
Other roads mentioned are Kampala-Mbarara (264km), Muyembe-Moroto-Kotido; Gulu-Atiak-Nimule, Vurra-Arua-Koboko, Mbarara-Ntungamo, Ntungamo-Kabale-Katuna, Jinja-Mukono, Tororo-Mbale-Soroti, Mukono-Kayunga, Rukungiri-Ishasha, Kawempe-Kafu, Mirama hills-Ntungamo/Kagamba-Ishaka, Kapchorwa-Saum in addition to the overlaying of Malaba/Busia-Bugiri, Busega-Mityana roads and the alternative route of Kampala-Entebbe.
"Specifically, feasibility study/design or procurement of the same services will be completed from Mukono-Katosi/Kisoga-Nyenga (72km), Nyendo-Sembabule (58km), Mpigi-Maddu (94km), Muyembe-Moroto-Kotido (290km), Kapchorwa-Suam (77km), Nyakahita-Ibanda-Fort Portal (208km), Mbale-Bumbo-Magale-Lwakhakha (54km), Kyenjonjo-Hoima-Masindi-Kigumba (238km), Gulu-Bibia (104km), Masaka-Bukakata (36km), and Arua-Koboko-Oraba (28km), .
The publication says that the challenges faced by the transport sector include the high costs for road construction and maintenance, a weak construction industry to effectively execute public contracts for road works and lack of capacity in some local governments to maintain road equipment.
"Excessive congestion of traffic in Kampala is also a challenge and the Ministry of Works is undertaking a study to introduce the Rapid Transit System under a public-private-partnership and that the ministry will soon submit a national construction industry policy."