Kitgum, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Local Government Ministry has extended the contract for the construction of Kitgum Central Market by five more months. This stems from a request by China State Construction Engineering Corporation Ltd through SABA Engineering PLC, the project consultant for more time to complete the multi-billion Shillings market.
China State Construction Engineering Corporation Ltd was supposed to hand over the market by July 1 this year, about two months from now having commenced the works in June 2019. However, by April 15, this year, the consultant reported that they had only registered physical progress of 56 percent against the projected progress of 89 per cent.
In an April 23 report, SABA Engineering PLC highlighted factors that slowed the progress of the market construction works ranging from the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak in March 2020 that saw suspension of work on-site and heavy rainfall, which affected work on Block B. They also highlighted the adverse ground conditions, where the contracted encountered groundwater in the foundation, which was not in the site investigation reports and the resultant designs.
As a result, the Local Government Ministry Permanent Secretary, Ben Kamumanya wrote to the Managing Director SABA Engineering PLC on April 28th, 2021 approving the contract extension for more five months. “Following the above observations and your analysis, therefore, I hear by approve the change order No.1 to extend the completion time for the contract for construction of Kitgum Central Market in Kitgum Municipality Kitgum District under MATIP-2 Contract No: MoLG/MATIP-2/WRKS/2018-2019/0008 Lot 11 for five calendar months as per your recommendation, that is from 1st July to 30th November 2021,” the letter reads in part.
Kamumanya however, noted that the extension doesn’t attract contract cost variations. He also cautioned the contractor and consultant to ensure that all outstanding issues that are affecting timely contract implementation are addressed within the additional time. Alfred Alexis Abonga, the Kitgum Municipal Council Engineer told Uganda Radio Network in an interview on Monday that the market construction is behind schedule by three months.
Abonga says he is optimistic that the contract extension will give ample time to the contractor to complete the remaining works.
Kitgum main Market is being constructed with funding from the African Development Bank-AfDB at a tune of Shillings 23 billion under the second a phase of the Market and Agricultural Trade Improvement (MATIP). Once completed, the market will accommodate over 2, 000 vendors occupying 1,500 stalls and over 600 lockup shops.