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20.10.2005 General News

Parliamentary Select Cttee commends Arab Contractors

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Tamale, Oct.20, GNA - The Parliamentary Select Committee on Works and Housing, has commended the management of Arab Contractors, a Construction Firm for quality work on the Tamale Storm Water Drainage Project despite some constraints.

Mr. Samuel Johnfia, Chairman of the 13-member Committee, on an inspection tour of the project to ascertain progress of work, was satisfied with about 98 per cent of the work done so far on the project.

The project was co-financed by the Government and the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) at a cost of about 61.6 billion cedis with the Government contributing 35 per cent and BADEA 65 per cent.

The project, awarded in 2003 was expected to be completed in 2004 but had been extended to 2006.

Mr. Wise Ametefe, Head of Drainage at the Ministry of Works and Housing briefing the Parliamentarians said the contractor encountered problems of procuring sufficient quantities of concrete aggregates from the Upper Quarry Limited in Bolgatanga due to the frequent breakdown of their plant and equipment.

He said the situation compelled the contractor to haul part of the concrete aggregates from other sources such as Taysec Quarry Limited at Wenchi, Nsemmere Quarry Limited at Sunyani and Consar Stone Quarry Limited at Barekese near Kumasi to supplement supplies to enhance progress of work.

Mr Ametefe said shortage of some of the major construction materials such as steel reinforcement, cement and sand as well as honouring interim payment certificates by both BADEA and the Government delayed work on the project.

He pointed out that more than 40 per cent of the contract sum had not been paid even though the project was almost completed, adding that with the exception of few interim payment certificates that were honoured within the stipulated date, most of them were honoured far beyond the due date.

Mr Ametefe said there were no provisions made for both physical and financial contingencies in the original contract price. He announced that additional works were to be carried out on the three main drains to ensure the proper functioning of the entire drainage systems in the Metropolis.

Mr Ametefe appealed to private developers to leave 15 metres away from the drains for their projects to allow free flow of water and avoid disaster should the drains overflow their banks. Interacting with the Committee, some residents said before the construction of the drains, flooding in the communities used to be a disaster but now the situation had improved.

Those living downstream where the construction works ended complained of mosquitoes due to stagnate water in the area and called on the authorities to address the situation. However, dumping of garbage and indiscriminate defecation in the drains was an eyesore and this would defeat the purpose for which the drains were constructed if urgent measures were not put in place to address the situation.

The problem had arisen because many households in the metropolis had no toilet facilities and the public places of convenience were inadequate while the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly had not been able to provide adequate refuse containers for the residents.

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