Construction works at Lundazi hospital stalls

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The completion of Phase Two of the Construction of the K8 million Lundazi District Hospital has stalled as the contractor has allegedly abandoned the site.

Lundazi District Commissioner, Janet Palukani, disclosed in an interview with ZANIS in Lundazi yesterday that Merit Engineering Limited, the company contracted to do Phase Two of the project, allegedly left the site claiming that he has not been paid money to complete the project.

Ms Palukani said this development is disheartening because the absence of the contractor on site has delayed the commencement of Phase Three of the project.

She said government has shown political will by providing enough funds in order to ensure that the project is completed on time for people to have easy access to health care services.

The Lundazi DC has since urged government to consider awarding the contract for Phase Three of the project to the contractor who did Phase One of the project as he did a good job.

Ms Palukani also urged government to also consider awarding contracts to local companies in areas where infrastructural development projects are taking place as contractors from other areas have allegedly failed the people.

She said local contractors have the capacity and capability to execute quality works, adding that in future she will not accept contractors from other areas to undertake projects in her district.

And Ms Palukani said construction of nine health posts is scheduled to commence soon in an effort to bring health care services as close to the people as possible in a cost effective manner.

She said the situation is worse in the education sector where a number of school projects have stalled as contractors from Lusaka have abandoned the works.

Speaking in a separate interview, Lundazi District Works Supervisor, Felix Kaite, said the contractor is behind schedule by six months.

He recommended that the contractor should subcontract for him to be able to complete the project.

Mr Kaite said it is not possible for Merit Engineering Limited to finish the project on his own as the scope of works still remains huge.

But Merit Engineering Limited Site Foreman, Joseph Besa, said erratic funding is the reason the contractor has delayed in completing the project.

He said sometimes it takes as much as six weeks to receive funding while late delivery of building materials is another factor.

Mr Besa said the contractor has the capacity to complete the project but urged government to speed up the flow of funding.