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How USMID program has turned around the face of municipalities across the country

Soroti Avenue road in Soroti Municipality

Soroti Avenue road in Soroti Municipality

Over the past five years, the Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development (USMID) program has enhanced institutional performance of 14 municipal local governments across the country to improve on their urban service delivery.

The five-year program implemented using a World Bank IDA credit of US$150 million started in financial year 2013/2014 and ended in financial year 2017/2018. Implemented under the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, the program’s successes have been registered across the country and appreciated by all stakeholders.

The ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, under her directorate of Physical Planning and Urban Development, has been responsible for ensuring that the USMID program gets implemented in accordance with the Financing Agreement signed between the funders and the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development on behalf of the government and the people of Uganda.

During implementation however, the 14 local governments of Gulu, Lira, Arua, Moroto, Tororo, Soroti, Mbale, Jinja, Mbarara, Hoima, Fort Portal, Masaka, Entebbe and Kabale were charged with the responsibility of procuring services, implementing their respective infrastructure projects and contract management.

Under the program, IDA’s lending instrument to the Government of Uganda was a Program for Results (P4R), which means that the total amount of funds available each year depended on the overall assessed performance of the previous year, of all the municipal local governments compared to the annual performance target.

It also meant that the annual grant amount for each municipality depended on the performance of the municipality compared to other municipalities. The better the performance of a municipality in a given year, the more funds it would receive in the subsequent year.

About 85% of the USMID program funds were disbursed to the LGs in form of Municipal Capacity Building Grants (MCBG) and Municipal Development Grants (MDG).

The MCBG funds were utilized by the municipal local governments for retooling, discretionary capacity building activities and career development, while the MDG funds would be channelled to physical infrastructure projects.  Some 15% of the USMID funds were retained at the ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development for outreach capacity building to the LGs and also capacity building for the ministry and program management.


Urban infrastructure was improved using the MDG funds, which the ministry transferred to the specific local governments after they met the set minimum conditions, and an annual performance assessment conducted by an independent verification agent.

The amount of the MDG to each municipal LG also depended on its spatial area, population, poverty count, and the performance assessment results. After the MDG was confirmed, then the specific municipal local government would ascertain its scope of works to be contracted and undertaken.

All infrastructure sub-projects under the program were selected and prioritised by the leadership of the respective municipal LGs in consultation with the Municipal Development Forum (MDF). Under the program, 13 of the 14 municipalities prioritised roads with their attendant features except Moroto which prioritised a bus terminal.

The road works prioritised by many of the LGs included rehabilitation of the road carriage way, provision of all auxiliary works such as pedestrian walkways, cyclist lanes, street parking with street lighting using solar lights, trash bins, greening and beautification in some areas.

The completed road works have completely changed the faces of most of the municipal local governments and already improved on local revenue collection.

It was because of these achievements that the program was extended with additional financing to continue for another five years till 2023.


The total population of beneficiaries in the 14 program municipalities was 1,327,100.


A total of 110 urban roads totalling about 78.4km were constructed in 13 municipalities.

Approximately 93.2km of covered line drains and 30.3km open drains.

100.2km of pedestrian walkways, 21.8km of cycle lanes, 43.5km of parking lanes

2,807 solar street lights

1,114 street trash cans

Signalized traffic lights at a junction in Mbale Municipality.


Improved 65,365 square metres of green space

Planted 2,431 trees.

Local Economic Infrastructure:

Three taxi parks complete with 328 lockup shops and 143 vehicle/taxi parking lots and restaurants in Arua, Tororo and Entebbe municipalities.

One bus terminal with 16 bus bays and 32 lockup shops in Moroto.

One lorry park with 14 lockup shops in Fort Portal Municipality.

Improvement of Coronation Park in Lira.


-1 #1 Odongkara 2019-11-27 12:18
Of all the municipalities Gulu did best and Arua worst on roads development.

Kudos to the Gulu team! My opinion is based on practically seeing the works of the two places in comparison to ten others. Actually Gulu streets are far ahead of Kampala streets believe you me.
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-1 #2 rubangakene 2019-11-27 19:53
I wish the emphasis would be on the common man in the village rather than "window dressed" urban areas. Have you noticed the flooded streets in Kampala last week?

All these facades for who and what if most 'wanaincis' go to bed on an empty stomachs, no medicines in hospitals, accidents on these smart roads and so on!
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