Nakasongola Ice Making Plant Stalls

6025 Views Nakasongola, Uganda

In short
In 2010, ministry of fisheries with support from the African Development Bank contracted Spencon Company limited to construct an ice making plant at Nakasongola district headquarters at unspecified sum of money.

The newly constructed Ice block making plant funded by the Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries ministry in Nakasongola district has failed to start operations. In 2010, ministry of fisheries with support from the African Development Bank contracted Spencon Company limited to construct an ice making plant at Nakasongola district headquarters at unspecified sum of money. The construction and installation of the ice plant was completed in August 2011. However, the contractor abandoned the site and didn’t hand it over to the beneficiaries.

David Nsamba, the Nakasongola District Fisheries Officer says that the plant was meant to produce and supply ice blocks to fishermen at a subsided cost. The ice blocks are used to preserve fish during transportation to prevent it from it rotting. Nsamba explains that some vital requirements like power, water reservoir and office block are still missing from the plant.

He says that they have no clue when the missing facilities will be put in place so that the ice plant can start working.
Nsamba has appealed for the intervention of Ruth Nankabirwa, the state minister for fisheries in the matter. Margaret Komuhangi, the Nakasongola district woman MP says that they are also worried that the plant has started developing cracks on the floor before it is commissioned.

// Cue in:``The icing plant…………..

Cue out:……………..to the plant.’’//

James Kabugo, a fish trader in Nakasongola says that he spends more than 100,000 shillings each day to buy a ton of Ice blocks from Kampala. He says that on some occasions by the time he arrives at the landing site, half of the blocks have melted because of heat. Kabugo says that they hoped that the construction of the Ice plant in the district would help them cut down their operational costs but the plant seems to have been abandoned.

Kizza Ssembuusi, a fish trader at Ninga landing site says that they incur heavy losses while transporting their fish because some of it goes bad before its gets to the market. He says that they were very excited when the construction of the ice plant started but their hopes are fading away with each passing day because of the failure by the ministry to operationalize the facility. James Mutaayi, a fish transporter wants the fisheries minister to investigate why the ice plant has failed to start operating saying its funds could have been diverted.

Attempts by our reporter to get a comment from Spencon were futile. Jimmy Etyang, an official in the ministry who over saw the construction works says that the contractor is bogged down with a lot of work but he will complete the construction works. Ruth Nankabirwa, the state minister for fisheries says that they have already instructed the permanent secretary to carry out a value for money audit.

 

About the author

Brian Luwaga
Since Brian Luwaga joined Uganda Radio Network in 2011, he is still amazed how, "URN is a place that gives journalists a chance to enhance their skills . It gives a journalist an opportunity to adopt and master various aspects of journalism that include radio broadcast, social media, photography and television production."

A practicing journalist since 2009, first with Star FM, Luwaga has always been keen to write about the concerns of the "common person." Based for much of his career in Luweero, Luwaga takes it as a compliment if politicians complain that his reporting is too harsh.

In his journalism, Luwaga likes to merge the past with the present. He believes you cannot understand what is happening now, if you do not have a grounding in the past. Brian Luwaga is the Luweero URN bureau chief. Nakasongola, Nakaseke, Mityana, Mubende and Wakiso districts fall under his docket.

Luwaga is interested in humanitarian work and is a keen Rotarian.