Okello said they had settled in on Bukasa because it had enough space, even for future expansion. “Port Bell’s capacity is one million tonnes annually. The New Kampala Port’s capacity will be eight million tonnes per year. It will also have railway and road connection to the Namanve Industrial Park,” he said. However, some residents called for more consultative meetings before the project kicks off. “The people you see here [Kampala] are not even 20 percent of the residents of Bukasa. The chairperson of the Uganda Land Commission is not here,” said Tom Ojore, a lawyer and resident of Bukasa.
The deputy project coordinator said affected land owners would be compensated. “We need the land, but cooperate. You will be compensated because the government has zeroed on Bukasa. The government is in final stages of taking a contractor to the site,” said Okello. The project, which will connect Uganda to the Tanzanian port in Dar-es-Salaam, is being touted as a strategic alternative to the Kampala-Mombasa route.