By Norman Katende
State sports minister Charles Bakkabulindi is surprised that more than sh400m that was given to the water ministry over a year ago to supply water and boost the construction of the National High-altitude training centre at Teryet has not been utilized.
Construction of the training centre had been scheduled to at least have taken shape by the first quarter of this year.
But much of the money given to the water ministry to boost the building process has since remained idle.
During a fact-finding visit in the eastern town, minister Bakkabulindi was shocked to learn that only sh39m (about 10% of the total amount) has so far been put to use.
The said portion has been used to draw out designs of how the water pipes will be constructed from the mountain top.
The minister was told that the rest of the money is still lying on the account as the department awaits a procurement process, which is yet to start.
“We have already got sh470m for the project. We have used sh39.5m for the design which we’ve finished and are waiting for the procurement process which we expect to start at the end of this month,” said Ezra Ahumuza, the deputy branch manager of eastern Uganda in the directorate of water development under the ministry of water and environment.
He explained: “The Procurement process takes about three months and we hope that after, we will need about eight months for the contractor to deliver water to the site.”
This means that construction of the centre – which was promised in 2010 – can only start next year.
Minister Bakkabulindi was taken aback by the lack of progress in the work.
“You mean you have been having all this money and what you have done is the design? We are interested in the visible outputs and you must know that without water at the site, nothing will start,” he stressed.
He had earlier visited the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) to check on the progress of the drawing of a bridge which presents the biggest problem on the 15km stretch from Kapchorwa to Teryet.
UNRA said it will borrow the design of the Kapchorwa-Suam road to construct the road to save time.
The seven-metre-wide road will have 5km of tarmac and will also have a pedestrian walkway. UNRA will finance the road works under their own project.
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High-altitude training centre construction delayed