ALEBTONG – Government has committed Shs 527m towards the completion of two health facilities in Alebtong district to improve access to healthcare services.
The health facilities were among the 60 in the country to be upgraded to Health Center IIIs by the World Bank program of Inter-governmental Fiscal Transfer in 2019.
The government awarded the contract to Otada Construction Company Ltd and the State Minister for Sports, Denis Hamson Obua, who is also Ajuri county legislator handed over the two facilities to the contractor.
More than Shs 1.2b was earmarked to undertake the construction and upgrading of Angetta and Awei health centres respectively.
The scope of the work was to construct a general ward, improve the out-patient department, construct two twin houses, and ventilated improved pit latrines and a medical waste management system.
But as time progressed, the work stalled and the contractor disappeared according to the area local leadership and the community.
The company abandoned the work due to lack of funds according to sources. The remaining work was roofing, fixing of doors, windows and painting.
The district LC5 Chairperson, David Kennedy Odongo says, the two Sub Counties had no health facilities and service delivery was being hindered due to long distances to the health facilities and high population in those areas. Angetta has 32 villages and Awei 48 respectively.
Through guidance from government, the district sourced for another contractor, Wangi Gen Company Ltd and started undertaking the work in August.
“Right now, they are at the finishing stage,” Odongo said.
“After completion, it will save our people from travelling long distances to seek health services.”
Angetta was carved out of Omoro Sub County in 2018, while Awei was split from Abako six years ago. The two Sub Counties had no Health Center IIIs and the community were travelling between 10 km to 12 km to access health services.
Besides, they don’t have a public secondary school as per the Ministry of Education and Sports guidelines.
The Angetta LC3 Chairperson, Robert Okullo applauded the government for the timely intervention towards the project.
“We were very disappointed when the company [Otada Construction] abandoned the site and vanished without informing us,” Okullo said.
“They left the work at the ring-beam and since then, they are nowhere to be seen,” Okullo adds when contacted.
Efforts to reach Otada Construction was futile since their known telephone contacts were not available.
Another health facility, Ogwette Health Center II, in Otuke Sub County whose contract was awarded to the same company but was abandoned, has prompted the district to secure another service provider. Approximately, Shs 600m has been earmarked to upgrade the facility.
Peter Okweda, the Ogwette LC3 Chairperson says, the work started on a good note and they thought when accomplished it was going to address the problem of access to health services.
“One year down the road, it has become another big problem again for us as leaders and the community,” he said.
He says right now, a new contractor has been identified and they are just waiting to start the work.
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