Title: A review of district road planning in Uganda: Environmental and community concerns

Author(s): William Nsimiire
Final project
Year of publication:
Document URL: Link
participatory planning, environmental and community concerns, borrow pit restoration


Roads contribute to socio-economic welfare and road development is therefore increasing in Uganda and other developing countries. However, road construction can also have negative impacts. A common problem is that contractors neglect restoration of gravel, or borrow pits. Abandoned open pits expose communities to various hazards, mosquito breeding in water filled pits and the subsequent risk of malaria being the most prominent. Two reasons for this problem is lack of participation of the environment sector in planning and monitoring of road construction projects and that concerns of the affected communities are not taken into account. The overall aim of this study was to secure incorporation of environmental and community concerns into planning and implementation of road projects in Uganda. Information on the levels of involvement of District Environment Officers (DEOs) in planning and monitoring of road construction projects was obtained through a questionnaire. The Ugandan planning framework and literature on participatory planning was also reviewed. According to the planning framework, which is based on the principles of participatory planning, DEOs should be involved at all stages of planning and monitoring of road projects. The study findings show that higher levels of borrow pit restoration were achieved when the planning framework was adhered to and DEOs were highly involved in planning and monitoring activities. However, many DEOs are not adequately involved, often because they are not invited to the planning process by the sectors in charge. The study revealed a correlation between low involvement of DEOs and low levels of borrow pit restoration. It is concluded that in order to secure incorporation of environmental and community concerns into road projects, DEOs need to be involved at all phases of planning and implementation in accordance with the established planning guidelines in the local government management and service delivery manual.

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