Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) officials have Tuesday met with National Water & Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) top management team to sensitize and update them on the progress of a railway system the former are undertaking in Uganda.
In order to fulfil the National Development Plan (NDP), the Government of Uganda is spearheading the development of the said railway network to raise the country’s competitiveness, reduce the cost of doing business and foster faster socio-economic transformation to a high middle income economy by 2040.
Being implemented as regional project, the SGR will be a modern, high-capacity railway system that is efficient, reliable, safe and affordable for both freight and passengers.
Partner states include; Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, and the network will stretch from Mombasa through Nairobi to Kampala, Kigali and Juba.
The partnership between the two bodies (NWSC and SGR) is therefore inevitable, considering infrastructure from both projects is crisscrossing at some points.
Basing on this, officials observe there is need to “harmonize them to avoid damage and waste.”
According to SGR construction plans, re-location of utilities such as water pipes and electricity transmission lines are crucial to achieving a well-planned infrastructure.
Other infrastructures affected include roads, factories among others.
SGR, in their presentation, indicated the progress made so far on harmonization of infrastructure, the land acquisition progress that has seen about 3,000 people compensated.
They have also highlighted, according to a statement from NSWC, “on the broader role the SGR will play in Uganda’s social-economic trajectory as well as the technical details of SGR and opportunities for future collaboration.”
The SGR Deputy Coordinator, Eng. Emmanuel Lyamulemye lauded the utility corporation for the synergy and reiterated the importance of harmonizing infrastructure for the long term to avoid waste.
Lyamulemye reassured the team that every effort is being made to move the project forward to enable actual commencement of construction.
He further noted that SGR has intensified its engagement with different groups as a way of rallying them to take advantage of the opportunities around local content as well as embracing this transformative project.
So far, private sector and several government agencies have been formally met.
The NWSC Director, Engineering Services, Eng. Alex Gisagara applauded SGR for continually engaging NWSC and other stakeholders.
He emphasized the need to upgrade the railway and for Uganda to adapt to new technology as NWSC is doing at the Ggaba and Jinja plants.
Eng. Gisagara also commended SGR for sourcing cement locally.
“The next generation of our grandchildren will be proud of the work you are doing now. At NWSC, we are receiving SGR with open arms; no pipe will hinder development of SGR. We should adapt to change,” he said.