Contractor Seeks Additional Time to Complete Kitgum Market

China State Construction Engineering Corporation Ltd was contracted to construct the market in 2019.
The contractor of Kitgum Central Market is seeking additional time to complete the multi-billion market.

China State Construction Engineering Corporation Ltd was contracted to construct the market in 2019. The company was supposed to hand it over in July this year. But the contractor failed to beat the dateline citing adverse ground conditions encountered in block B and the effects of the first wave of the covid-19 pandemic among others and requested a time extension.

The contractor was granted a five months contract extension period by the Local government Ministry in May this year with caution to finish the works by November 30.

But Alfred Alexis Abonga, the Kitgum Municipal Council Engineer says that the contractor won't be able to beat the November 30 dateline, which is just a month away.

Abonga says he has received a minute of a site meeting in which the Project Manager highlighted a possible extension period of another three months to January next year to fully complete the work. “Initially the contract period was ending in November this year, but from that minute I saw the project manager says there is a communication coming through that the contract period will be extended,” says Abonga.

Abonga says the contract period must be extended so that the contractor covers the current outstanding works.

“We have tremendously gone ahead now. Block A we are doing the finishing now, wiring and plastering. In Block B, the construction is almost complete, the structural frame is almost complete. We are doing some roofing and walling,” he says.

Abonga notes that finishing works at the market can't be rushed at the moment to beat the November dateline.

Emmanuel Banya, the Kitgum Municipal council Town Clerk says the second wave of the covid-19 pandemic was a big blow to the contractor, marking it impossible to deliver the market this November.

He says for two months, construction works at the site was halted due to the covid-19 pandemic.

Banya however notes that they haven’t yet got any formal communication on a possible contract extension for the market construction.

“There is no formal request for a time extension, we got from the contractor. The contractor has to write to the Ministry of local government and based on the facts on the ground, the Ministry grants time for Christmas contract extension,” says Banya.

Kitgum Central Market is being constructed with funding from the African Development Bank-AfDB at a tune of 23 Billion Shillings under the second phase of the Market and Agricultural Trade Improvement (MATIP). Once completed, the market will accommodate more than 2,000 vendors.              

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