Evaluation of contract management practices of road rehabilitation and maintenance works in Kanungu, Rukungiri and Kabale Districts
Magezi, Benon Denis
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Road maintenance and rehabilitation in Uganda is a quite complicated undertaking involving different stakeholders including donors, central and local governments, professionals and non professionals. Before this study, it had generally been observed that in spite of all the efforts rendered by the above stakeholders, roads which would be rehabilitated or upgraded would deteriorate shortly after such costly interventions the factor that was attributed to poor contract management practices in road rehabilitation and maintenance works. It was against this background that this study was undertaken with the objective of improving the efficiency and effectiveness of managing the contracts for road rehabilitation and maintenance works. The districts of Kanungu, Rukungiri and Kabale in Southwestern Uganda were selected as a study area. The study used quantitative descriptive methods and was evaluative in nature. It reviewed road maintenance and rehabilitation contracts in the financial years of 2002/03, 2003/04 and 2004/05 by looking at the road inventory, financing history of road related works, performance history of the road network, the contract management practices that is; procurement, documentation, supervision and monitoring, certification, quality management and mainstreaming of cross cutting issues. Data was collected using questionnaires administered by interviews and analyzed by MS Excel and SPSS 10.0 for windows soft ware. From the study it was established that; road maintenance and rehabilitation interventions in the study area were very poorly funded and hence partly a reason for the poor state of the roads and high rates of deterioration. In spite of poor quality management practices and limited compliancy to mainstreaming of cross cutting issues of gender, environment and work place health and safety, some good contract management practices were adhered to. In addition, road condition in the study area was affected by limited capacity of contractors, poor terrain of the area and political interference. It is therefore recommended that; the contract managers should address contract management gaps in quality management and mainstreaming of crosscutting issues and in addition the Ministry of Works and Transport should review and increase the funding for road maintenance and rehabilitation works.