Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Kondwani Nankhumwa has expressed disappointment at the poor workmanship in the initial stages of the on–going construction of a stadium in Mangochi.
Nankhumwa expressed the disapproval on Tuesday when he together with officials from the Local Development Fund (LDF) inspected construction works at the stadium.
Government awarded a Chinese contractor, China Gansu Engineering Company to costruct the K304 million state –of–the–art sports complex.
Nankhumwa appealed to the contractor to erect a structure that would be within the specified timeframe and also befitting the status of a growing town like Mangochi.
He emphasised on the need to adhere to laid down procedures to ensure quality and durable facility once the project is completed.
“To begin with, work at this site has not been impressive as it has started late and poorly – the excuse that I have been given is that the rains have been reason for the delay, but it is the wish of government that this project should be done with speed,” Nankhumwa said.
Nankhumwa observed that, among other things, the nature of the project such as that of a stadium construction required heavy-duty machinery unlike using handheld tools like hoes as was the case at the site. He has asked the contractor to deploy motorized equipment as a matter of urgency.
“As a matter of fact, I have instructed that the fence which has started with weak cement blocks should be demolished and be started all over again in order to have something of good quality,” he said. “With the way the work has started, I don’t think it would add to the beauty of the town.”
Nankhumwa advised management of the council to closely supervise construction work of the stadium to avoid acquiring a sub–standard facility.
On this note, Nankhumwa said people of Mangochi should count themselves lucky to receive the stadium project, saying it was among the six districts of Kasungu, Rumphi, Karonga, Chiradzulu and Mulanje to have such a sports facility.
“Government would have decided to take this project elsewhere but it decided to bring it here – apart from promoting sporting activities in the lakeshore district it will also boost the revenue base of the town council,” he added.
LDF Chief Executive Officer, Charles Mandala admitted that construction work at the site was indeed progressing extremely slowly, attributing the situation to communication problems between the foreman and his employees since the Chinese contractor does not understand English or any local language.
“In the interim, we have instructed the contractor to deploy site personnel who could understand English, besides we will also conduct regular supervisory visits to see to it that work is finished on schedule and that it is also of good quality,” Mandala assured.
Mangochi Town Council Chairperson, Ibrahim Kacheya said government’s decision to revert Mangochi to its original status of a town was a milestone and that the council was grateful for all the development projects being initiated in the fast growing lakeshore town.
“Actually, we have already started dreaming of a municipality because of the rapid growth we are experiencing,” Kacheya said, echoing Nankhumwa’s appeal to the contractor to follow set procedures for a modern and durable infrastructure.
Government through the (Local Development Fund) LDF is constructing a stadium in Mangochi to the tune of K403 million whose objectives include increasing social engagement amongst residents of Mangochi and increasing revenue generation for the town council.
Funding for the construction work which commenced in November last year and is expected to be completed in August this year has been sourced by LDF from a Germany international development agency called KfW through the urban window financing arrangement.
The stadium is one of the many projects President Peter Mutharika outlined for the Eastern region and Mangochi in particular when he addressed a development rally in October last year. Other major development projects to be undertaken in the district include upgrading of Mangochi – Makanjira road, construction of an international airport and a five star hotelFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :