The high altitude training centre in Kapchorwa District should be up and in use by athletes but the wait continues four years after the Teryet project got off.
It was expected to open its doors to athletes in 2019 but three extensions have stalled its completion.
This has left stakeholders frustrated and State minister for Sports Hamson Obua feels there is more need for urgency than ever before to get the facility done and dusted.
While touring the site last week, Obua was unimpressed.
“You must, as a matter of necessity, deliver phase one of this project by June 30 – that implies you must expedite your processes. We have agreed not to grant any more extensions following the already granted three extensions for phase one,” Obua said in a closed meeting.
The minister’s statement comes as a protest on how a project that was meant to be completed within two years has now gone four years and six months.
“The contractor must burn midnight candles to ensure that the remaining aspect of phase one is delivered,” he said.
Contractor explains delays
Obua had earlier tasked project contractors Complant Engineering and Trade Uganda Ltd, a Chinese company, to explain the delays.
Poor road networks, delayed payments, design changes and additional works, increase in material prices and locals accessing the site were some of the issues the Chinese tabled.
The road only became usable in February yet we signed the contract in 2017. Rain makes life hard and we have even tried using donkeys to carry cement,” explained Complant country director Wang Jianwei.
Wang also told the meeting that they had last been paid around the Christmas season yet they signed a monthly payment contract.
Lack of inadequate power and water has also held Wang and his men back despite asking National Water and Sewerage Corporation on a number of occasions for running water.
According to the contractors, there is a need to close off the site to locals who still use the road from the gate house.
“The subdivision is not done and the locals are using the road which makes our work difficult. We need to close the road before we apply the synthetic surface or else it will get spoilt,” added Wang.
Obua appreciated the challenges but maintained his stand on not granting another extension.
It was agreed that the contractors provide formal commitment to complete the construction of phase one.
That they should also submit their schedule for monitoring by the ministry.
Minister Obua tasked Complant contractors to provide relevant documentation in regard to supply of material to be imported.
About the facility...A long distance project
The Teryet High Altitude Centre was President Museveni’s reward upon Moses Kipsiro’s request after the runner won Gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Museveni made the promise two years later after Stephen Kiprotich won Olympic Gold. The site stands at 2,573 metres above sea level. The multi-purpose complex was budgeted to cost Shs17.5b at its start in 2012 but the cost has since shot up due to delays on the project.