Dott Services to Start Tarmacking Eastern DRC Roads Before May Next Year

BY J K KATO

Journalists touring Dott Services Operations Base at Nyakabirizi along Kasese – Mpondwe border.

The tarmacking of the ongoing road constructions in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will start before May, 2024 according to company’s compliance officer Robert Kazoora.

Dott Services embarked on the construction of the 223km roads in Eastern Congo in 2021 after Uganda spearheaded the discussions on the importance of the mobility network in order to aid trade but also minimize insecurity arising from impassable roads.

Dott Services Limited contributes 60% of the money required to construct roads connecting Uganda to cities of Beni, Goma and Butembo while the two countries each contribute a 20 percent.

Although the project has been greatly been affected by insecurity which has reduced daily working hours to about five, Kazoora is optimistic that by May next year, laying of tarmac will have commenced.

Kazoora explains that daily works starts at 10 am after clearance from security teams from both Uganda and DRC but the teams embark on transporting the equipment back to safety camps at around 3pm yet it is the time supposed to be used to plan for day’s final touches.

Nil Maniraj, Dott Services Project Manager, said delays in Eastern DRC customs clearances have also hampered the project. Despite the fact that the Kampala and Kinshasa governments gave a tax waiver on material and equipment needed to construct the roads that will link the two countries, federal system in the latter do not often respect decisions by the central leadership.

Security teams have said the attacks on civilians in DRC and Uganda are likely to minimize once the construction of the roads is complete. Security said rebel groups like Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) are currently exploring the impassable roads to execute their atrocities on the innocent populace.

Eastern DRC which lacks reliable road networks have forced the population to rely on imports since there are almost no local manufacturing companies. Uganda expects to reap big once the road constructions are done.  

Uganda and DRC military investigations have revealed that some of the attempted attacks on Dott Services team constructing the roads was instigated by individuals who do not understand the logic of this project. “When Dott Services came in, they tried to fight it. But for us as UPDF we’re still there until DRC says you have done enough,” a military officer said.

Maniraj cited an example of the two ambulances that were confiscated by customs yet they were going to be deployed in the joint military camps to aide in rescuing sick or injures personnel as the project progresses.

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