Company delays Nebbi hospital renovation again

Thursday February 19 2015

Ongoing works on a ward at Nebbi hospital recently.

Ongoing works on a ward at Nebbi hospital recently. The contractor is seeking more months to complete work. PHOTO BY PATRICK OKABA 

By PATRICK OKABA

NEBBI- The renovation of Nebbi hospital and construction of new patient wards is expected to delay for more months despite a directive by the Ministry of Health to the contractor to expedite the process.

The Minister of State for Health in-charge of General Duties, Dr Elioda Tumwesigye, rushed to the hospital last month and directed China Railway No5 to complete the work within the stipulated duration of 18 months to save the hospital from congestion.

The delay in completion of the project has forced the hospital administration to make patients suffering from different ailments to share wards. Due to the shortage of space, some patients are also being admitted to verandahs.
However, the contractor renovating the hospital has appealed to the Ministry of Health for more time to complete the work.

China Railway No5 is seeking an extension of four months from the earlier deadline of August this year to December.

The company’s projects manager, Mr Zhang Peng, told Daily Monitor on Tuesday that the bidding was at a lower price of $3.7 million (Shs10.8b) which has been stretched by unforeseen additional works and hence the delay.

“We bid low because we didn’t know the challenges we would meet at the site and because we wanted to do business with Ugandan government since we are a new construction company in the country,” Mr Zhang said.

The resident engineer from the Ministry of Health, Mr Charles Vita, said he had not seen the letter requesting a deadline extension. He said the contractor has now spent one year since the site was handed over to them and have not done 70 per cent of the work.

Dr Tumwesigye last month threatened to terminate contracts of companies which do not complete their work within the scheduled time.

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