ARUA. The Bionas East Africa group ltd, the local subsidiary of the Bionas Agropolitan Technology Corridor (BATC) Development Berhad has updated its green economy infrastructure development investment blueprint for the West Nile region with new projects which if implemented, would introduce first-rate facilities, placing the region as ideal hub for international trade.
The green economy master plan now covers Arua municipality as well as Koboko and Yumbe districts.
Among the earmarked projects in Arua municipality is a 17-story hotel, a supermarket, and a fresh food market, all to serve both national and international taste and a transport terminal for buses and taxis.
Bionas has also committed to construct a storied municipal office block, a 300 room guesthouse that will first be used by the Bionas staff before it is handed over to the municipal council to run.
The ground-breaking for the latter two projects and the waste-to-energy plant was done on Monday.
The waste-to-energy plant would be situated at the current location of the Arua solid waste recycling plant in Euata village, Vurra sub county.
Ms Zurina Amnan, the Bionas Group Chief Executive Officer said the waste-to-energy plant would be needing 1,000 tonnes of garbage daily.
This she said will generate 288 MW of electricity at optimum capacity to light 2,000 homes and leave nothing to litter the plant site because every waste would be recycled in various trash factory units for non-biodegradable materials.
However, official municipal data indicates that Arua town produces only 25 to 30 tonnes of garbage daily meaning more rubbish will have to be ferried from elsewhere to meet the plant’s high demand for dirt.
At the moment, the sh2.8b World Bank funded compost plant only turns biodegradable waste into manure leaving other crap such as metal pieces, plastic bottles and polythene bags to choke the area.
The garbage plant was constructed under the clean development mechanism compost management project and is being managed by the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) under a 14-year memorandum which has been in force since its commissioning in 2012.
The Nile Green Smart City
Following the July 20, 2018 signing of a memorandum of understanding between Arua municipality and Bionas to develop what was formerly envisioned as the Nile-Eco city, the Malaysian consortium has swiftly contracted the China Railways III (CR3) Uganda to develop what is now known as the Nile Green Smart city.
It is a 700 hectare city that is going to cover the area occupied by Barifa forest.
Dr Ali Adnan, the Bionas East Africa executive director and vice president intimated to the West Nile Web that the company will compensate the Development Model for Africa (DMA) Group and Joadah consults that under the Joadah Capital Infrastructure Partners’ consortium developed the initial Nile-Eco city plan and secured an environmental impact assessment certificate from NEMA.
He said the local consortium will also be brought on board in carrying out the project implementation.
Ms Amnan however decried the delay by the National Forestry Authority to handover the forestland saying as investors, they are not prepared to wait for months.
“We are ready, we want to start work. Engage NFA to release the piece of land for the city development,” she appealed.
Yumbe ahead of Koboko in Jatropha project
Whereas the Jatropha agropolitan business cluster project was set to start in Koboko district, it has been overtaken by Yumbe district in terms of land acquisition for project delivery.
Dr Adnan said they have nine blocks ready in Yumbe, each of them 10 square kilometres in size and agreements with clan leaders and landlords have been signed.
He added that they are working on securing 11 more blocks to make it 20 agropolitan cluster blocks in that district.
While in Koboko, the technical team is finalising assessment for the construction of the East African Clean Energy exposition dubbed a Uganda training academy centre for excellence near Oraba border post.
“The advantage of Yumbe is that it is not densely populated like Koboko where we are having challenges in securing land from the communities, this is why we are starting with industrial exposition,” he said.
The Bionas has potted 10,000 jatropha seedlings ready for planting on the demonstration farm for the expo and on the community blocks in Yumbe.
Each block comprises affordable housing units, apartments, hotels and shopping centres while the industrial exposition has jatropha processing and blending plant, waste-to-energy plant, mobile petrol stations, commercial centres, recreational facilities and export oriented halal meat processing plant.
Ms Nezima Ocokoru, the Arua Hill Division chairperson, where most of the municipal projects fall said the developments will facilitate international commerce while the municipal Mayor, Al-hajji Isa Kato commented that the planned investments would give visibility to the region when completed.