18 August 2018
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Thursday, 27 April 2017 08:20

Nkhata Bay DC justifies delayed completion of bus depot and new market projects

Written by  Alexander Gombar
Yet to be completed Nkhata Bay New  Bus Depot,Pic_ By Alexander Gombar, Mana Yet to be completed Nkhata Bay New Bus Depot,Pic_ By Alexander Gombar, Mana

Nkhata Bay, April 27, 2017: Nkhata Bay District Commissioner, Alex Mdooko, has justified the delay in completion of the construction of a new market and bus depot in the district, saying circumstances behind the delay of the two projects could not be avoided.

The K493 million Nkhata Bay New Market and Bus Depot projects started in May, 2016 and were supposed to be completed by December, 2016. However, 12 months down the line, the two projects are yet to be completed.

Speaking in an interview with Malawi News Agency (MANA) on Wednesday, Nkhata Bay District Commissioner, Alex Mdooko, justified reasons for the delay of the projects, saying they could not be avoided.

“There are many reasons that have contributed to the delay in finishing the projects. Most of the reasons we could not avoid,” said the district commissioner, citing the rainy season which he said was negatively affecting speed of work.

However, he conceded the district council also contributed to the delay of the projects.

“As a district council, we were responsible for choosing the site where the bus depot and the market place were to be situated. After we identified the site for the bus depot, we received a court injunction from some residents who had buildings on the site, and the High Court in Mzuzu took a lot of time to give a verdict,” Mdooko explained.

He added that all that time the contactor was waiting for the case to be completed.

According to the district commissioner, the initial total cost of the two projects was K350 million, but due to changes in the cost of building materials, the cost was revised to K493 million. The district council contributed seven million Kwacha.

Mdooko also stated that apart from the court injunction, there were also some changes and amendments made to the contract.

“We had to make some changes to the initial contract, there were some structures removed and others added. We added a drainage system to keep water away and prevent the bus depot fence from collapsing.

“The initial design of the garage or parking lot for cars [for the bus depot] was small, it did not give enough room for big buses and we had to change that too to avoid accidents,” explained the DC.

The General Foreman for Tapita Building Contractors, a firm entrusted to implement the two projects, Steven Fombe, also said the injunction some members of the community got initially stopped the commencement of the two projects.

“In October last year, we were told to build a wall around this new market, a wall of about 58 panels. To us this is why the market has taken this long to finish,” Fombe added.

While the foreman described the current progress of the construction works at the sites as a success in spite of setbacks, the district commissioner was concerned with the delay of the projects, saying revenue collection had negatively been affected.

Chairperson for Nkhata Bay Market, Foster Mhone, equally expressed sadness with the delay to complete the new market structure in its initial time-frame.

“The reason why I am not happy is because most vendors plying their business here use a temporary place which is muddy. With this rainy season, it is difficult for vendors to find a proper place to keep their products. The muddy conditions are also going to affect their health in the long run,” Mhone said.

The Nkhata Bay New Market and Bus Depot Projects are funded by KFW through Local Development Fund (LDF) to the tune of K493 million.



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