Last Updated on: 16th October 2023, 10:45 pm
Adjumani I Local contractors in Adjumani are now mobilising resources to rescue the World Bank-funded project, tndNews can exclusively report.
The move follows a revelation by Rock Trust Contractors U Ltd conceding that they have failed to make progress in the Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development Additional Funding (USMID-AF) funded by the World Bank due to financial constraints.
In June 2023, Rock Trust Contractors U Ltd was awarded a contract for the construction of roads measuring 3.1 kilometres at shs. 10.2 billion but the work has since stagnated at 10%.
During a meeting convened by the Adjumani Resident District Commissioner, the director of the Rock Trust Francis Ssembatya (director), acknowledged that works stagnated due to financial challenges, further saying banks were not able to give him a performance guarantee.
Ssembatya assured the district leaders that work would resume after Yoka Bank Limited agreed to issue him the performance guarantee.
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“It’s true there has been a delay, but now work will resume normally, it is true time has gone, in order to beat time, we are engaging a sub-contractor so that by December we shall do 90% of the work, especially the box culverts and the asphalt layer,” Ssembatya said.
“We are going to increase the production of the culverts from 100 to 140 per day to be able to finish making the remaining 5000 culverts within the time period; we are also mobilizing more human resources in order to catch up with time,” he promised.
The struggling company boss also told the district leaders that his earlier efforts to sub-contract part of the works failed because the contractors he had sourced could not deliver the work.
Fadul Yusuf, a local contractor, promised to support the Rock Trust with four of his trucks that are parked and staying idle if he needs support.
“But I want to advise you that if you want to progress very well, you must subcontract to not less than three sub-contractors, I also advise you that, your agreement with the sub-contractors must be very clear in order to avoid confusion in future.”
Another local contractor, Emmanuel Amaza, stated, “As contractors, we have been going through the same hurdles of acquiring performance guarantee from banks,” adding that there is a need for stakeholders to support the contractor to deliver the work.
The Adjumani District Woman Member of Parliament who also chairs the Presidential Affairs Committee in Parliament Jesca Ababiku emphasized the need to deliver all three roads as indicated in the design.
“We are here to ensure all the three roads are delivered, how are we going to be sure about the dealings of the Bank and the contractor? By now you should have been in 50% not only in 10-20%, and we tolerated you.
Ababiku also wondered why contractors Rock Trust Contractors attempted to sub-contract part of the works backtracked and were not willing to work with Rock Trust.
“Gathering resources and personnel is your mandate, for us, we need the roads, we also need a clear work schedule from you so that within two weeks you don’t progress, we come for you,” Ababiku said.
“The contractor deserves to be appreciated for having moved this far without any external support, let’s give them time to deliver the work, and we must have trust in the district leaders,” the district chairperson of Adjumani, Williams Anyama said during the meeting.
The Residence Engineer of Segamu 14 and Hersun Consultants Ltd, Buzibwaa Luswata guided that, the contractor is free to source materials outside but they must be subjected to quality tests.
On June 12, 2023, Rock Trust Contractors U Ltd signed an agreement with Adjumani District Local Government for upgrading 3 kilometres of road to bituminous road surface at the contract sum of shs 10.273.496.747.
The roads cover the administration road which is 1.43km, Illa Road, 0.66k and Market Road, 1.09km.
The scope of work, according to the design documents that were authored by AB Consults includes; a carriage-way, solar-powered street lights on both sides and walkways on the drainage.