MASINDI, November 20, 2023 – Leaders and the residents of Nyantonzi Sub-county in Masindi district are unsettled over the delayed completion of the construction of the Shs 239 million Outpatient Department [ OPD ] at Nyantonzi health centre III.
Speaking during an engagement meeting for the district leaders organised by Community Driven Network [CODNET] on Friday at Education Hall, Praise Ochanda the Secretary for Social Services at Nyantonzi Health III noted that the OPD was supposed to be completed before the end of the last financial year.
According to Ochanda, the construction contract was awarded to Jachomu Investments Limited by Masindi District Local Government in the last financial year.
“According to the information we are getting, the contractor was phased out by the district and the money which was allocated for the construction wasn’t enough. We no longer see the contractor on site. For us what we need is the OPD to be completed,” Ochanda noted.
Steven Anguandia, the community based monitor under CODNET in Nyantonzi Sub-county explained that they have no clear information when the project will be completed. “Every day we see different people. One puts a door and the next day you see another person fixing the window,” he said.
However, the district councilor representing Nyantonzi Sub-county at the district council, Christopher Acidri, asked the residents to remain calm, saying the construction of the OPD would be completed soon.
“Good enough almost 99 percent of the work is done because painting was done, wiring was done, and window shutters installed. What’s remaining now is for the unit to be connected to the national grid. I will only fault the procurement department for failing to contract a person with a financial muscle,” he said, adding that the facility would be commissioned in one month’s time.
The Masindi district LCV chairperson, Cosmas Byaruhanga, in a speech read for him by Simon Byaruhanga, the district youth councilor, assured the people of Nyantonzi that the OPD would be completed soon.
“We are still monitoring him [the contractor] until he completes the work. It’s not true that the district cancelled the contract,” said Byaruhanga.
Efforts to get the contractor’s comment were futile as he couldn’t be reached.
In March this year, the residents and the leaders of Nyantonzi Sub-county compelled the Jachomu investments Limited to demolish the foundation after they realised that it had developed cracks due to the poor mixing of sand and cement.
Apparently, CODNET, a non-governmental organisation, is implementing a 12 month project which started in January this year with funding from United States Agency for International Development [USAID] and East West Management Institute. It is aimed at strengthening citizens’ inclusion and engagement in health sector decision making process in Masindi district.
“We have also strengthened capacity for 12 health management committees and also contributed towards improved citizens’ participation in decision making process in the health sector,” noted Nora Basemera, the project officer.
Buy your copy of thecooperator magazine from one of our country-wide vending points or an e-copy on emag.thecooperator.news