The first phase of the World Bank and Government of Sierra Leone funded project for the construction of multi purpose Council offices in Bonthe Island and Mattru Jong are facing serious setback resulting to abandonment of the project site by contractors.
It is sad to note that the Bonthe District Council at the Mainland and Municipal Council on the (Island) construction project of the Council administration offices is either moving on a snail pace or abandoned by contractors due to funding gap or neglect by the Decentralization Secretariat over two years now.
The two projects in the District are long over due as the first contractor for the projects Universal Ventures had to be terminated due to poor performance and another bidding process took place which gave IPCS and Eagles Construction Company the contracts respectively.
World Bank and the Government of Sierra Leone contracted IDEAS Partners Limited as Consulting Firm for the projects, though several reports have been submitted to the Government and donor’s no visible progress has been made to complete the project.
However the Bonthe District Chairman Moses Probyn and the Bonthe Mayor Gilbert Caulker in an interview with AWOKO in Bonthe expressed disappointment frustration and embarrassment as a result of the difficulties faced by the Council.
AWOKO Press learnt that the Councils are struggling to run their day to day affairs because they lack office space and the most frustrating aspect of the Council construction project they said is that there is no progress on the project site.
Chairman Moses Probyn said the Bonthe District Council Administration is disappointed in both the contractors and the Decentralization Secretariat because several efforts have been made to ensure the speedy completion of the project but to no avail.
The Chairman also expressed similar sentiments towards the project saying “the project has taken over two years without completion and we don’t even know what is responsible for the delay to complete the project.” He queried.
AWOKO contacted The Decentralization Secretariat for their own part of the story and after going through normal procedures our reporter met Augusta of the Project Coordinating Unit and the Civil Works Engineer Horratio Max Gorvie.
The Civil Works Engineer Horratio Max Gorvie in an interview explained that “it is true that the Bonthe Council project is long over due and that contractors had abandoned the project site due to lack of funds”.
He also said that the Decentralization Secretariat has been indebted to the contractors in Bonthe which resulted to the slow progress on site. Additionally “we are presently faced with serious funding constraints and the second phase of Council projects is also underway.”
The Civil Works Engineer Max Gorvie also said that the Bonthe Council project is costing Billions of Leones and further expressed regret over the manner in which the project has delayed and encouraged both the Council and contractors to show understanding and exercise patience because as soon there are funds, the project will be completed. By Saidu Bah