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Health Center Construction Works Stall Four Months after Launch

Anjilo Opio, the area LC I chairperson says the workers approached him on Saturday, saying that they would leave the site due to nonpayment and of construction materials on the site. He says that the workers handed the keys for the store, which has a few bags of cement, iron bars, gumboots and some overalls.
Foundation dug and abandoned by the workers

Audio 3

The construction of Ating HC II has stalled four months after it was commissioned. In May this year, the Ministry of Health through Otuke District launched the Shillings 1.9 billion construction works at Ating HC II. Government handed over the construction works to BMK Construction Company Ltd.

The works include the construction of a maternity and neonatal ward, placenta pit and a stand-alone laboratory unit among other things, ahead of the planned elevation of the facility to Health Center III.  The works also included the construction of Outpatient and Inpatient departments, a borehole, and two staff blocks each with two units, a single toilet stance for male and female clients and another for females only

The project also includes external works of fencing as well as installing a solar system at the facility. Located in Ating Parish, Ogwete sub-county in Otuke District, Ating HC II is the only government facility in the area.  However, the work has stalled. The contractor has also abandoned the site.  

Anjilo Opio, the area LC I chairperson says the workers approached him on Saturday, saying that they would leave the site due to nonpayment and of construction materials on the site. He says that the workers handed the keys for the store, which has a few bags of cement, iron bars, gumboots and some overalls.

Luo byte:

//Cue in: “Company me BMK…

 

Cue out: … dakatal wa nie.”//

Eunice Atim from BMK company Ltd confirmed the development, saying that although the workers were paid, they have chosen to leave the site. “There was money already paid to that foreman but I was informed that he has decided to take off and I cannot really explain much but we are now on board,” she said.

Alfred Malinga, the Otuke Chief Administrative Officer who acknowledged the fact that he has heard reports of the contractor abandoning the site, said that he needed time to establish what is happening before commenting. 

“I also got a call from the people from the site but it is not that the contractor has gone away. I think there is a challenge between the contractor and the people they have employed so I am yet to verify the information,’ he said.  

He was, however, quick to note that the whole construction process seems to have a big problem right from the time the site was handed over. 

“That project happened to be very challenging and I noticed it right from the very beginning because I think the handover happened in May but by the time I took over in July they had not even reported to the site. That was already an indication that he is not a serious contractor but never less they started work but the progress is not good.”

Janet Akello, a resident of the area blamed district officials for failing to supervise the project, saying that it seems to be a business between the district and contractor.

Luo byte:

//Cue in: “Kit acako neon…  

Cue out: … olo wa oko.”//

Peter Otim, another resident is worried that the District might be forced to return the money back to the central government because there is a high possibility that the project might stall for good considering the fact that the construction period is running out.

Luo byte:

//Cue in: “District ka gin…

Cue out: … pwod tye aryo.”//

The multi-billion construction work is expected to last for a period of 16 months, starting May 2021.

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