Japan has committed at least Shs 675 million annually towards the maintenance of community roads in Kamwokya, a Kampala suburb.
Using the Do-nou technology, the three-year Community Road Empowerment (CORE) project is intended to empower communities to actively participate in self-sustaining developmental projects to maintain their roads using local materials and technology.
Do-nou is a Japanese word, which means the wrapping of soil or appropriate filling material into gunny bags and then laying them systematically on the road or other application areas.
Kamwokya is both a commercial (upper Kamwokya) and residential area (lower Kamwokya), and is one of Kampala’s most densely populated areas - dotted with poor housing, poor sanitation facilities and other living conditions.
During the rainy season, lower Kamwokya always floods due to blocked drainage systems and poor garbage disposal habits. The Japanese Ambassador to Uganda, Kameda Kazuaki yesterday, Thursday visited Kamwokya for the launch of the CORE project.
Kazuaki’s visit occurred after the signing of a grant contract between the embassy and the project manager of CORE Uganda, Yuka Iwamura at the Treasure Life Centre in Kamwokya.
The function was witnessed by both local leaders from the community as well as officials from the ministry of Works and Transport. Japan has over the years supported Uganda’s infrastructure development projects – the most recently being the completed Nile Bridge in Jinja.
According to the ambassador, Japan is now venturing into community projects such as CORE. Using the Do-nou technology, CORE inspires impoverished communities to maintain their roads by themselves without having to wait on their governments. CORE has worked in 27 countries with ongoing projects in Gambia, Kenya, Rwanda, and Myanmar among others.
“This is a huge investment in the local community in Kamwokya. CORE Japan used this simple and efficient technology and you will get to practice it over the next year. It is simple but efficient in maintaining feeder roads,” said Kazuaki.
“I really expect CORE Uganda to lead this project empowering youth in the local community and also development of this local community and its economy” he added.
Kazuaki also appealed to the youth and stakeholders in the community to make a conceited effort towards sustainable community development by adopting the Do-nu technology. Iwamura, CORE Uganda projects manager stressed the importance of this project on the empowerment of the youth in the areas of Kamwokya.
“In Kenya alone we have trained over 6,000 youths and maintained hundreds of community access roads” Iwamura said.
“We will utilize this technology for road maintenance in Uganda. As an organisation, we are determined to empower 150 youth and rural farmers through this pilot project in Kampala and Wakiso in 2019 and this project will bring about a lot of positive impact to road users and these feeder roads which we will maintain.” she added.
Kampala Central Division mayor, Charles Sserunjogi Musoke issued a rallying cry to the youth to embrace the project.
“I call upon the youth to come and embrace this project. This project is intended for them, it is intended to skill them, it is intended to equip them with Do-nou technology. A simple technology that uses local materials to maintain roads.” said Sserunjogi.
He also stressed that the well maintained roads in Kamwokya would help to ease on the traffic jam in the area since the sometimes-impassable community roads are used by people from the outskirts of Kampala to access the city centre. The project kicks off in March this year.