Rukungiri water project behind schedule – leaders

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On April 26, 2016, government, through Rukungiri District local government, entered a Memorandum of Understanding with an Indian firm, Techno FAB Engineering Services, to construct a Shs44b gravity water project.

Kahengye Gravity Water Project is funded by the World Bank and the government of Uganda.
The construction kicked off on July 14, 2016 and completion is expected in September 2017.
Mr Deus Tukwatse, the Rukungiri District water officer, said only 35 per cent of the civil works had been done by July 17.

Mr Tukwatse blames the delay on slow cash flow to the project, delay in acquisition of land and physical hurdles.
“The other unanticipated factor was of the rocks in the ground. Originally, the design was to cater for the excavation of basement for the tanks, but later, there was need for rock blasting that consumed two months of the project time and this stopped other works,” he said.

The work done so far includes laying of foundations for the eight water treatment facilities and setting up of the concrete walls, according to Mr Tukwatse.
Construction of the main water reservoir at Mukazi in Kebisoni Sub-county is yet to be done. Only the foundation was set. Pipes, pump machines and transformers have not been installed yet.
Mr James Turyamuboona, the district speaker, said the project is far from being complete.

“They [contractors] have requested for more time, which has been granted. We have given them three more months from when the project was meant to be complete, so we expect the contractor to finish the project on December 11, (2017). But according to my projection, we may get into 2018 before this project is finished,” he says.

Mr Charles Makuru, the Rukungiri mayor, who is also the vice chairperson of the committee constituted to oversee the project, has asked the ministry to intervene and have the contractor speed up his work.

The State minister for Water, Mr Ronald Kibuule, visited the project on May 23 to assess the progress of works.
He told Daily Monitor then that “…the water project has issues, the contractor is said not to be on ground.”
Rukungiri Resident District Commissioner Martin Mugabi told Daily Monitor in May that “…the project is supposed to be completed on September 14 but the contractor was given extension of three months so he is expected to finish in December.”

Rukungiri Municipality MP Roland Mugume Kaginda said they had contemplated procuring another contractor.
“We thought of stopping the contractor and procure another one, but we realised it would take a long process and decided that time for the current contractor be extended,” Mr Kaginda said.

The former Rukungiri District chairperson, Mr Charles Byabakama and Ntungamo District chairperson, Mr Dennis Singahanche, said they have played their part and what is remaining is for the contractor.

“We had secured land and sensitised the locals affected by the project when I left office. We are only waiting for the contractor to have the water flowing. I know all the district leaders are equally eagerly waiting,” Mr Byabakama said.

Mr Kenneth Kilangwa, the site project supervisor, notes that while the leaders say they secured the land, they did not secure it in time and they [contractor] were again inconvenienced by the land owners while setting up the project site.

He asked the leaders to give them some more time so that they do a good job.
Ms Oliver Bamutambira, a resident of Kahengye Trading Centre, noted that they can’t wait using the safe water after the completion of the project. “We get clean water here only when it rains. If it does not, then we use contaminated water from the river,. This is the reason clinics and hospitals are making a lot of money from us. You find people here suffering from diarrhoea and typhoid,” Ms Bamuntambira said.

Reported by Edson Kinene, Perez Rumanzi & Alfred Tumushabe

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