Contractor explains 8-year delay to complete facility

State minister for economic monitoring, Ms Beatrice Akello (standing) speaks during a meeting with Masaka City officials on November 10, 2022. PHOTO/WILSON KUTAMBA

Tirupati Development Uganda Limited, a company contracted to construct a multi-billion child and maternity complex at Masaka Regional Referral Hospital, has explained why the project has dragged on for eight years.

The construction of the 400-bed facility started in 2015 and was expected to be complete in 2017 at a tune of Shs10.6 billion.

While inspecting government projects in Masaka last month, the State minister for Economic Monitoring, Ms Beatrice Akello, decried delays in the completion of different projects yet government injected huge sums of money in them.

According to Mr Miraj Barot, the managing director of Tirupati Development Uganda Limited, the delays were caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, which prompted the company to reduce the number of  workers.

“Both casual and technical workers were reduced by half during Covid-19, which was later worsened by the two successive Covid-19 induced lockdowns that affected the supply chain of building materials,” he said during a press conference on November 27.

Mr Barot explained that delays by the government to release funds, bad weather and change in designs to include an intensive care unit (ICU) have also partly contributed to the delay.

“Despite all those challenges, we are now focusing on providing a well-designed structure that will stand the test of time and also serve the intended purpose,” he said.

During her visit, Ms Akello said she was going to engage the line ministries to ensure that remaining Shs2.2 billion is released to enable the contractor complete the project. 

The changes in the designs have since pushed the cost to Shs12.2b.

The facility

Upon completion, the Child and Maternity Complex will have two state-of-the-art theatres, a gynecology unit, antenatal and neonatal centres, labour and post-natal wards. It will also have pediatric  and nutrition and adolescent health units, all fully equipped with modern equipment.

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