Soroti Contractor Gets 3rd Extension for USMID Project Roads

4919 Views Soroti, Uganda

In short
Plinth Technical Works Project Manager Eng. Richardson Babiiha has written to Soroti Municipal Council seeking another extension, citing challenges, among others; the depreciation of the Uganda Shillings against foreign currencies, an increase in prices of construction materials whose value the contractor underestimated.

Plinth Technical Works limited, the company contracted to undertake construction works for major roads in Soroti municipality has failed for the third time, to beat the agreed deadline.

The company was expected to tarmac five roads, construct walk ways, drainage channels and relocate utilities that include electricity poles and water lines under the World Bank Funded Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development - (USMID) Project.

The roads earmarked for rehabilitation include; Alanyu road (0.3kms), Cemetery road (0.3kms), Central Avenue (0.6kms), Liverpool road (0.2kms); and Serere road (1.2 kms). 

The initial task was projected to end in June 2015 after a one year contract. However, by the time, a lot of work remained pending promoting authorities to push the completion time to December 2015.  The contract was again pushed to March 2016 after the contractor failed to beat the December completion deadline.

But Plinth Technical Works Project Manager Eng. Richardson Babiiha has written to Soroti Municipal Council seeking another extension, citing challenges, among others; the depreciation of the Uganda Shillings against foreign currencies, an increase in prices of construction materials whose value the contractor underestimated.

Soroti Town Clerk Emmanuel Banya Natal says they have had series of meetings with the USMID support team from Kampala and the Ministry of Lands Permanent Secretary about the same.
 
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He adds that the contract has now been extended for the third time by another three months. Banya is optimistic that by June 30, 2016, at least 80 percent of the work will be done.
 
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The delay in completion of the works has caused outrage among Soroti residents and members of the business community.

Paul Enamu, a resident of Soroti Municipality questions why the same contractor is granted extensions without justifiable reasons for delaying the project.

Lucy Asio, a resident of Central ward in Eastern Division says the slow progress on the road works has greatly affected their businesses. Asio says the dust on the road is unbearable.

Jane Alum, the chairperson for Persons with Disabilities in Soroti district expressed dismay saying that the stones dotted across the five roads have made movement difficult for those in wheel chairs.

The same company was also contracted to upgrade roads in Mbale, Hoima and Tororo municipalities under the World Bank funded Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development Program - (USMID) Project.

The 5-year World Bank Funded project is aimed at enhancing the institutional performance and service delivery in 14 municipalities across the country. The 14 beneficiaries include Arua, Gulu, Lira, Soroti, Moroto, Mbale, Tororo, Jinja, Entebbe, Masaka, Mbarara, Kabale, Fort Portal and Hoima.

 

About the author

Salume Among
Salume Among is the Mbale URN bureau chief. Among has been a URN staff member since 2012.

Among started her career in 2000 as a freelance writer for Etop newspaper before starting to write for its mother paper, The New Vision. She also wrote for the Vision Group's XFM radio station from 2008 until she left to join URN.

Among has a keen interest in local politics having been a youth representative in the Soroti variously between 1996 and 2010. Among also regularly reports on health, education, the environment and sports.