The government is taking action to prevent flooding in the Mbale Sino Industrial Park by re-channeling the River Nashibisho.
Last year, on August 3, River Nashibisho overflowed its banks in Mbale City, resulting in the loss of 27 lives and displacing hundreds of people. During a recent tour of the park, Finance Minister Matia Kasaija announced that the Ministry of Works has initiated infrastructure development in the area.
“We aim to address the flooding issue in collaboration with investors, as the previous incident caused significant damage. Additionally, we will equip the park with firefighting capabilities to respond to potential fire outbreaks,” he stated.
The Mbale Sino Industrial Park, inaugurated in 2018 with a total investment of $600 million (Shs2.2 trillion), presently accommodates approximately 36 operational factories across a 619-acre land, employing over 3,000 workers.
Earlier this year, a fire incident at Grace Foam (U) Ltd, a mattress manufacturing facility, resulted in the destruction of property worth millions of shillings.
Minister Kasaija also pledged government funds for improving the park’s road network, emphasizing the potential of industrial parks in addressing unemployment challenges.
“Industrial parks generate employment opportunities for our youth. While we release approximately 700,000 graduates into the job market annually, the government’s created jobs number between 300,000 and 400,000. The question now is how to absorb the surplus into the job market, and industries provide the most straightforward solution,” he explained.
Mr. Mike Jude Mudoma, the cultural leader of Inzu Ya Masaaba, called for government incentives to attract more investors to the park. He highlighted the economic expansion and job creation potential that arises from the establishment of more factories.
“The expansion of the economy through the establishment of additional factories will result in increased government revenue and a substantial increase in youth employment opportunities. This is how countries progress,” he remarked.
Mr. Mudoma also noted a reduction in crime rates in the area due to increased employment opportunities for youth.
Furthermore, the industrial park recently donated Shs20 million towards the renovation of the dilapidated offices of the cultural institution in Maluku.
Mr. Paul Zhang, the chairperson of Sino Uganda, Mbale Industrial Park, projected that once all factories are completed, the park could employ up to 12,000 workers in various roles.
“The production of goods within the factories will reduce reliance on imports, improve labor skills, create more job opportunities, and increase revenue,” he emphasized.
Last month, President Museveni commissioned 16 factories in the park, with products ranging from glass, textiles, and household detergents to mobile phones, smart televisions, baby diapers, clothes, LED bulbs, tubes, electrical meters, and socks.