The refurbishment of Uganda’s 375 kilometer Tororo-Mbale to Gulu meter gauge railway line is planned to begin in July this year. This was announced by the states Ministry of Works and Transport after government managed to secure a loan of US$26.8 million grant from the European Union (EU) to fund the project.
Monica Azuba Ntege, the minister of works and transport, said that the loan will work on the physical rehabilitation of the railway line, supervision of the construction works, capacity building of the Uganda Railway Corporation (URC) and compensation of about 4,000 projected affected people whose crops and building structures might be destroyed during the reconstruction process.
The government of Uganda will also inject US$15.1m into the project and an extra US $29.3m will be needed for the completion of the entire project. The project shall be executed by the Uganda Railways Corporation overseen by the Ministry of Works and Transport.
Tororo-Gulu railway line
The line provided a link between the East African Northern Corridor to the port of Mombasa and Eastern Uganda to Northern Uganda, as well as South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It has however been out of service over the past two decades due to actions of war by the Lord’s Resistance Army in addition to unfair competition by overloaded trucks.
The rehabilitation is part of the government’s efforts to modernize the railway system in the country especially after it ended the operations of the Rift Valley Railways.
Due to its closeness to the Albertine region, the railway line instead of road will be used for transportation of equipment and inputs for the construction and operations of the oilfields because of their bulk nature which makes it impossible for them to be transported by trucks or other on road.