By: Bazio Doreen and Amacha Goli (Daily Express).

The Adjumani Town Council Mayor has hailed the Government of Uganda and the communities of Adjumani District for accepting to host a huge number of refugees which has greatly impacted in terms of real infrastructure development. Most notably, through the Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development Additional Financing (USMID-AF) project funded by World Bank – IDA and implemented through the Ministry of Lands and Adjumani District Local Government.

“I don’t think the multi-billion shillings World Bank funded infrastructure project under USMID-AF where we managed to receive a world class Leisure Park would be possible if we had chased away the South Sudanese refugees in 2016 when they first arrived in big numbers,” Hon. Mangapi Lawrence retorted.

In a press interview held in his office yesterday, January 3, 2024, Hon. Mangapi Lawrence said, the Leisure Park aside from its pure intention would also be able to secure valuable time for early morning bus and taxi passengers to freshen up and change their clothes before they start a day’s duty and safe for mothers and women who work long hours in a day.

“The loud call for a municipality status for Adjumani district could come to pass as the town council continues to make a stride in infrastructure development which is synonymous with requirements of uplifting the township to a municipal council status,” Hon. Mangapi says.

Afayo Nick, the District Engineer, has expressed gratitude to the Contractor, Hotel Zawadi Construction Limited for doing a commendable job especially the superior workmanship and completing the project within the contract circle.

Nick also said the classic Leisure Park was funded by World Bank under USMID-AF at the cost of shs 1.5bn and tasked the Adjumani town council authority to start making preparations’ for managing the public facility to satisfy their leisure needs.

In appreciation, Mr. Amaza Emmanuel, the Managing Director of Zawadi Hotel Ltd, says his technicians met a few challenges in executing the project since they were accorded maximum supervision because USMID employed modern system of contract management which is beneficial to both the contractor and the site workers. He also acknowledges that various meetings were held so as to ensure that the project is not only successful but serves the interest of the public as the end beneficiaries.

The pretty attractive Leisure Park is firmly secured by concrete perimeter fence, solar security lights around the fence and Omni directional flood lights that provides adequate light in the spacious park the entire nocturnal circle.

The administration block has been tactically placed and houses the restaurant, canteen and a bar, it also has a store and crafts shop for selling Madi cultural crafts and African crafts including exclusive cultural regalia.

The design of the place however does not warrant public rallies and entertainments like musical shows and big parties since it has already been fitted with chairs in each of the 5 gardens and 15 pairs of extra seats adjusted on the edge of the park.

The gardens have been designed with high breed paspalum grass imported from Europe and colored with ornamental trees to depict all green environment throughout the year.

A Bouncing castle worth shs 16m, a modern sea saw, merry go round and rotational balance have been installed at the children corner on a flat ground planted with fine river sand to provide shock absorbing in circumstances of free fall accidents.

A water fountain is pensively standing in the middle of the park powered by the water which runs for 24 hours sustained by the 10.000 steel water tanks backed by 5.000 liters reservoir tank.

Electricity is reproduced throughout the day; the facility is connected to power from the grid and backed by a high breed solar power connection.

Hon. Anyama Ben, the District Chairperson, who was in jovial mood when approached for a comment, said the Leisure Park construction is a district project which of course will be handed over to Adjumani Town Council for management but in close collaboration and supervision by the District leadership.

‘My office will ensure that the facility is put to better use, well maintained and sustained so that the future generation will appreciate the NRM government for forecasting and planning for needs of generations ahead,” Hon. Anyama explained.

Most important to note however is that the access to the facility will be absolutely free because it is a public utility and leisure time is very important for stability of the brain and social cohesion that’s why the previous District council approved the project without hesitation.

The Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development (USMID) program is designed as a Program-for-Results (PforR) program building on the Local Government Management and Service Delivery (LGMSD) program- a performance base grant (PBG) program which was piloted by the Bank under the first LG Development Program (LGDP I) in selected districts and later scaled nationally to cover the entire LGs system in Uganda with funding from the Bank and other development partners.