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Construction Of Port Health Lab In Busia Stalls

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The construction work after Busia Municipal authorities handed over 2.9 acres of land to the Health Ministry for the construction of staff quarters and a modern laboratory for the Port health facility, which is found at the one-stop border post.
Lab construction in Sofia village stalled at foundation level

Audio 4

The construction of a modern laboratory at Port health facility at Sofia village in Eastern division of Busia municipality has stalled.  The construction work after Busia Municipal authorities handed over 2.9 acres of land to the Health Ministry for the construction of staff quarters and a modern laboratory for the Port health the facility, which is found at the one-stop border post.

Construction works started in February this year but has since stalled at the foundation level. The laboratory is supposed to provide laboratory testing services to residents, cross border traders and visitors entering Uganda.

Some residents have raised concern, saying the place has remained idle ever since hundreds of traders were evicted to pave way for the construction. More than 3000 traders operated on the land earmarked for the project.

Sam Kabugo, a resident of Sofia village, says that they have totally failed to understand what is going on.  

Luganda audio:



//Cue in: "Ffe twakaaba batugoba dda...  

Cue out:....tetutegeera ekigenda mumaso,"//

Godfrey Olwenyi, one of the traders who was evicted from the said land wants the municipality to allow them to return to the land since it appears the ministry of health has failed to utilise the land.

English audio:

//Cue in: "That the district...  

Cue out:...been hard for them"//  

According to Olwenyi, the project is being implemented in the dark because neither the Ministry of Health nor contractor provided them the bill of quantity- BOQ.  He says that when they asked for the BOQs, Busia municipal council leaders wrote to the ministry but ever since then, the project construction stopped.

English audio:

//Cue in: "For the meantime....  

Cue out:...get back their market"//


Vincent Okurut, the Busia Town Clerk says that he doesn't know what happened to the project because they handed over the land to the Ministry of Health, which is also the lead supervisor of the works. Mathew Tusubira, the Deputy Busia Resident District Commissioner, says that the Sofia market land has issues because some local leaders are opposed to the project and want traders to return to the land.

He explains that there was a challenge when the contractor started the works as some traders stormed the site and confronted the contractor. He says that they intervened and sensitized the public through community engagements and radio talk shows but the contractor has never returned since he left.

English audio:

//Cue in: "Modern lab is halted...  

Cue out:...the work he had started"//



Emmanuel Ainebyona, the Ministry of Health Spokesperson told our reporter in a phone interview that the project stopped because the contractor had issues on the ground. He, however, said they are addressing the issues to allow the project to resume very soon.

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