NAKAPIRIPIRIT – A company contracted to build a major road through Muyembe [Bulambuli district] to Nakapiripirit district has been given a chance to improve its work.
The Turkish construction firm, Polat Yol Yapi, signed a contract with the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) in November 2019 to tarmac the 92.2km from Muyembe to Nakapiripirit.
Although the supervision consultant issued a commencement on 30 March 2020 after UNRA paid advance, the contractor could not start the work that involved mobilising personnel and equipment due to Covid 19 that resulted into closure of the airport by HE President Museveni.
Eng. Samuel Muhoozi, the director Roads and Bridges development at UNRA while addressing the contractor, representatives from the Turkish embassy and stakeholders 17 August at the construction site after inspection of the road consented the project was behind schedule but said the contractor should be given time to complete it.
“I did not know that there were problems here until now but since the contractor has accepted the problems and corrected some, let us give him a chance to complete the works,” said Eng. Muhoozi.
“Covid 19 is here to stay, it is not going away now and I know from the explanation that it affected them like any other business across the nation, continent and world over. As UNRA I think we also kept away long, we would like to apologise for this and give the contractor a benefit of doubt,” he added.
He explained that UNRA has been giving notices [warnings] to the contractor on the slow progress and that so far two managerial meetings have been held on 16 March 2021 and 3 August 2021 with the contractor’s top management.
He revealed that the contractor was also given notices to correct the non-compliances which he has done well and that he should be given a chance to accomplish the project.
Polat Yol has been clashing with local people, LCV chairpersons of Nakapiripirit, Kween, Bulambuli, MPs of the three districts and RDCs, because of the delayed execution of the works on the 92.2Km Muyembe-Nakapiripirit project.
But despite all this, inspection along the road, revealed that there is real progress on the project; the rejected loam soil was collected in heaps, tractors and graders were doing their work and parts of the road had marrum properly compacted.
A report accessed by PML Daily on Civil Works for upgrading of Muyembe- Nakapiripirit road [92Km] from gravel to paved [Bituminous] standard dated August 2021 says that the valuation report for the quarry has been approved by the Central Government Valuer but that it is NEMA that is yet to approve the Environment Impact Assessment [EIA] report for the contractor to start breaking the rock for use on the road.
The report adds that the status of the activities like clearing and grubbing-removal of trees and stumps stands at 26.0%
Common excavation for benching at 10.9%, Roadbed preparation at 4.0%m the G7 fill for lower subgrade [First and 2nd layer] at 38.1% and that the monthly maintenance of the existing road stands at 26.7%
Mr. Pius Bagaza, a local representative of the Turkish Company M/S Polat Yol Yapi explained that they had already done review of Topographic surveys, Soil materials [Hardness and Toughness] to establish the appropriateness, adequacy and that they have already established the camp as required by law.
“I want to call for calmness from all people along Muyembe-Nakapiripirit project road, the contractor is on ground, he has done some work, made the road motor-able, he has also started constructing minor bridges,” said Mr. Bagaza.
Mr. Erham Gokce, the Turkish Embassy Chief Commercial counselor asked UNRA said there have been delays due to Covid 19 lock downs across the world but asked UNRA and all stakeholders along the project road to be patient.
“I know that the contractor will mobilise sufficient equipment and man power to complete this work within the specified time, we are asking for your patience,” said Mr. Gokce.
The supervision consultant explained that by the time of commencement on 30 March 2020, the contractor had not moblised their personnel and equipment and that during the time Covid 19 started biting hard resulting in closure of the Airport by President Museveni.
“And it is later in October 2020, the Airport opened and that is when we brought in some personnel and moblised equipment but we have been doing some technical works like carrying out topographic surveys and re-establishment of the bench marks which have constantly been washed away by heavy rains,” said Eng. Arafat Magdad Saad, the contractor manager.
Mr. Magdad explained that the Turkish construction firm, [Polat Yol Yapi] has made important changes to improve the standard of the road and that local leaders will be informed of the progress of the road construction at each stage until they finish the work.
The chairman LCV Bulambuli district Mr. Annet Nandudu who chaired the meeting said even as main works on the all-important 92.2KM Muyembe-Nakapiripirit road are yet to begin, they are happy that the road has been made motor able, bush clearing has taken place, bridges have been made and that trucks loaded with food harvested in farms in the region are already using it to access markets.
About the Muyembe-Nakapiripirit road project
The construction works on Muyembe-Nakapiripirit road is being funded through a loan from the Islamic Development Bank to a tune of sh399.9bn and is expected to take three years up to 30 March, 2023 is already relieving transporters in this area.