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MINISTRY OF WORKS AND TRANSPORT

MT ELGON LABOUR BASED TROAING CENTRE

The role of MELTC in the Development of a Multi-Modal Transport to


Accelerate Inclusive Growth
Contents
1.1 Introduction...........................................................................................................................................1
1.2 Mt. Elgon Labour-based Training Centre (MELTC)..................................................................................1
2.0 Roles of MELTC......................................................................................................................................1
2.1 Capacity building in road maintenance..............................................................................................1
2.2 Low cost sealing for low volume roads..............................................................................................2
2.3 Community access structures............................................................................................................2
2.3.1 Stone Masonry Arch Bridge........................................................................................................3
2.3.2 Suspended and Suspension Cable Foot bridges..........................................................................3
2.3.4 Ladders and Steps.......................................................................................................................4
3.0 Conclusion.............................................................................................................................................5

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1.1 Introduction
Multi modal transport can be defined as the combination of different means of transport, in
order to facilitate the movement of goods. In Uganda, there are majorly four (4) means of
transport namely, road, air, rail and inland water. Of the four, roads are the dominant mode,
accounting for over 90% of freight and passenger transport.

An efficient and effective multi mode transport system requires maintenance of the different
transport infrastructures in a more sustainable manner. The Ministry of Works and Transport
(MoWT) through the different implementing agencies is responsible for the development,
operation and maintenance of the different transport infrastructures.

The road network in Uganda comprise over 100,000 km of roads in different functional classes.
The functional classes include National Roads, District Roads, Community Access roads and
Urban Roads. The different entities responsible for maintenance of the different roads include
Uganda national roads authority (UNRA), District Local Government and Urban Councils.

1.2 Mt. Elgon Labour-based Training Centre (MELTC)


MELTC is a training centre under the Ministry of Works and Transport responsible for capacity
building of both public and private sector in maintenance of roads and other road structures.
The Centre in addition to training in road maintenance has also introduced sustainable methods
of road construction including Low Cost sealing for low volume roads and use of low cost
structures for river crossing such as arch-bridge and suspended Foot Bridge.

2.0 Roles of MELTC


2.1 Capacity building in road maintenance
Roads are very expensive to construct and maintain. It is almost impossible for the government
to finance all the development and maintenance needs of all roads in a given financial year.
With the little resources available, it is very important that priorities are chosen rightly to keep
the road network in a condition that maximize the impact in terms of facilitating mobility and
accessibility as well as minimizing road user costs. The different managers responsible for road
maintenance need to have the capacity to plan for the road maintenance within the available
recourses in an effective, efficient and sustainable manner. The Centre conducts different
training for district technical staff to enable them plan for the road maintenance.

Further, participants from both public and private sectors are trained in the best practices of
road maintenance especially, unpaved roads. The participants are thoroughly taken through
both theoretically and practically in the different types of road maintenance using both labour-
based and mechanized methods.

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2.2 Low cost sealing for low volume roads
The centre introduced technology for sealing of low volume roads using, as much as possible,
locally available materials. This technology has many advantages such as:

 Reduction in the lifecycle maintenance cost of unpaved roads;


 Providing all weather access roads with good riding surface;
 Maximizing use of local materials;
 Provision of employment through used of labour-based approaches to road construction;
 Increased economic development within the road corridor; and
 Reduction in gravel extraction rates ; hence, reduction in environmental destruction; and
 Awareness creation related to AIDS/HIV and other communicable diseases.

Over the years, the standard practice for maintenance of unpaved roads has been involving use
of gravel as the road surface. This gravel would not stay on the road for long. In about 2 – 5
years, the gravel would have been worn away and would require replacement. However, the
sources of good gravel are depleting and haulage distances are getting longer. This coupled by
the increased value of land has led to high maintenance costs making the continued use of
gravel unsustainable.

The Ministry of Works and Transport has adopted a strategy for rolling out low cost sealing
technology to the entire country. To support the strategy, MELTC is to continue training staff
both from public and private sector in the design and construction of low volume sealed roads.

Figure 1: Sealing of Low volume Roads Figure 2: Completed sealed road

2.3 Community access structures


MELTC has introduced the use of Stone Masonry Arch-bridges and Suspended Cable Foot
Bridges to enable communities cross dangerous rivers in a safe manner.

2.3.1 Stone Masonry Arch Bridge


These are constructed using stone masonry and cement mortar as binder. The arch bridges can
be constructed to a maximum span of 20m. The costs of these bridges are lower than the
conventional reinforced concrete bridges in areas where stones can be cheaply obtained.

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Figure 3: Stone Masonry Arch-bridge

The centre is promoting the use of the arch bridges through training in the design and
construction of the bridge.

2.3.2 Suspended and Suspension Cable Foot bridges


With support from Bridge to Prosperity, the Ministry of Works and Transport is implementing a
program aimed at constructing 50 Foot Bridges across the country. The foot bridges can span
to a maximum of 120m. Apart from the cables, all the other materials used in the construction
of the bridge are obtained locally. In fact, the foot is bridges are being constructed with the
involvement of communities. The communities are contributing local materials such as
hardcore, poles, and river sand. Further, the communities, as part of community participation,
have been providing free labour for one day in a week.

Figure 4: Locally made Foot Bridge Figure 5: Completed Cable Foot Bridge

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2.3.4 Ladders and Steps
Ladders and wooden or masonry steps have also been introduced at MELTC to help the
communities leaving in mountainous terrain where roads can be applicable. Through training in
design and construction, MELTC is promoting the use ladders and steps.

Figure 6: Locally constructed ladder

Figure 7: Improved Steel ladder

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3.0 Conclusion
A well developed and maintained multi model transport system is necessary in enabling
accelerated and inclusive growth. To have the system maintained, the different parties
responsible for the development and maintenance must be well equipped with knowledge and
skills. With a high staff turnover in most public and private offices, continuous training is
necessary to maintain competent staff. MELTC is ensuring that competence in road
maintenance and construction of community access structures is developed and maintained
both in the public and private sectors.