• Mon. Oct 2nd, 2023

UGANDA, Kitgum | Real Muloodi News | In 2019, Phillip Pichan Cwinyai, the infrastructure engineer at the Ministry of Local Government, who also acted as the contract manager, stressed the need for China State Construction Engineering Corporation Ltd to do quality work on the Kitgum central market project.

The Chinese contractors gave the local government their commitment of 24 months to complete the project.

However, the contractor missed the initial deadline of July 2021, citing the impact of COVID-19 and major issues putting up Block B as hindrances to meeting his contractual obligation of 24 months build time.

In May this year, the local government ministry approved a five-month extension until November 30.

However, according to Alfred Alexis Abonga, the Kitgum Municipal Council Engineer, China State Construction Engineering Corporation Ltd can’t beat the deadline and will need more time to finish the market.

Abonga said, “Initially, the contract period was ending in November this year, but from that minute I saw the project manager saying there is a communication coming through that the contract period will be extended.”

Abonga said the contractor needs more time to finish the outstanding work and that it can’t be rushed.

“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 said.

Emmanuel Banya, the Kitgum Municipal Council town clerk, said COVID-19 was a significant blow to the progress of the work. The construction site closed for two months, affecting the contractor’s ability to meet the deadline.

Nevertheless, he added, they have received no formal communication regarding the extension.

“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,” said Banya.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) is funding the construction of Kitgum Central Market, under the second phase of the Market and Agricultural Trade Improvement Program (MATIP).

The contract amounts to USh 23 billion. The market is to accommodate over 2000 vendors.

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