• Mon. Oct 2nd, 2023

UGANDA, Masaka | Real Muloodi News | Construction works on the Masaka Central Market project in Uganda stands at 90% completion. The construction company missed their scheduled completion date of June 11, 2021.

At the direction of the government, the contractors received an additional three months extension to finalise the project. Surprisingly, the total number of extensions granted to the builders stands at five.

Construction of the new market began in February 2018. The project was scheduled for completion on February 2020. 

In March this year, the State Minister for Local Government, Ms Jennifer Namuyangu, extended the date of completion to June. Still, the contractor failed to complete the work despite having a fourth contract extension.

The construction works today still stands at 90 per cent, which prompted the government to extend the contract further for the fifth time. Some of the work, such as plastering, plumbing and painting, is not yet complete.

The Masaka Central Market project is a joint venture between Multiplex Ltd and Alshams Construction Company Ltd, funded by the African Development Bank and the Ugandan government to the tune of Shs18.4 billion.

Twelve market construction projects across the country that started at the same time with the Masaka Central Market project are already open for business.

Ms Edith Namande, who represented vendors, said any further delay in completing their market affects them as vendors. 

“We lose merchandise whenever it rains, the government should get serious this time around,” Edith said.

What Has Led to the Delay?

According to the Permanent Secretary in the Local Government Ministry, Mr Ben Kumumanya, the delay in construction is justifiable. Changes were made in the project designs as suggested by vendors, which slowed down the construction works.

Among the changes made include the electrical and mechanical fittings. Other changes include hybrid designs for solar, hydropower cabling, and plumbing for fish vendors.

The builder made more changes in the upper floor to cater for a first-aid clinic as requested by vendors. Vendors also asked for the provision of more translucent sheets and windows on the upper floor of the building to bring in light and air. 

Other changes include the terrazzo floor finish for the upper floor, which will turn into open pitches to absorb more vendors.

The old Masaka Central Market, constructed way back in 1936, was demolished two years ago to pave the way for the modern market. It has been housing over 1,000 vendors. After the demolition, the vendors operate in makeshift stalls next to Masaka Secondary School’s main gate.

The new Masaka central market, once complete, will accommodate over 2,000 vendors, which is twice the number that was working at the old market. 

The Masaka central market will have an Agro-processing facility, several stalls, lock-ups, shops, cold rooms, restaurants, a parking yard and loading and offloading areas. The market will also have drainage ways, solid waste bays, firefighting facilities, washrooms and banking halls.


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