The Upper East Regional Minister, Mr Stephen Yakubu has expressed dissatisfaction at the slow pace of work on the ‘Agenda 111’ project in the Kassena-Nankana West District of the Region.
Sod was cut for work on the project to begin on February 17, 2022 at Zenga, a suburb of Paga, but the pace of work had since been slow.
“I am happy the project is here and work has started, but it is just the progress of work that I am not happy about. I have been to other areas that they are doing very well. In other places, they are trying to put up the substructure but here, they are now still digging.
“I have told the Contractors to speed up with the pace of work,” Mr Yakubu said in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in the District after inspecting the project.
The Minister, who was on a working visit to the District to inspect some ongoing projects, also visited the collapsed steel bridge between the Navio and Tazika communities, and later interacted with staff and management of the District Assembly.
He said the mobilization to site by the two Contractors working on the project was the main cause of the delay, “But now that they are here, they have decided to work day and night to ensure they meet the timeline. Let’s hope that they go by the 24hour work plan for the speedy completion of the project.”
Mr Gerard Ataogye, the District Chief Executive (DCE), said the project was seven months behind schedule, “They did not mobilize to site early, I am always on the Contractors to speed up the work because it is a life-saving project for my people.”
He said expectations among the Chiefs and residents in the District for the completion of the project were high, and further stressed the need for the Contractors to speed up the progress of work.
Mr Emmanuel Opei-Kumi, the Procurement Executive of Akofis Engineering, who showed the Minister and his entourage around the construction site, told the GNA that 10 per cent work was done so far, saying “We will up our game and improve the progress of work.”
He said the facility would be a standard hospital with Out-Patient Department, consulting rooms, male and female medical and surgical wards, paediatric and maternity, accident and emergency units, theatre, laboratory, mortuary and laundry facilities, staff accommodation among others.
Mr Opei-Kumi said the weather condition and mobilization of workers to the site were the major challenges that delayed the progress of work, and gave the assurance that despite the delay, professional work would be done and the project delivered on schedule.
The Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Emmanuel Kofi Dzotsi, who was part of the Minister’s entourage, and shared similar views about the progress of work, said “I am not too impressed with the progress of work.”
“We have been to Pusiga, Garu, Tempane and the progress of work is going on well,” he said, adding that the successful completion of the projects in the beneficiary Districts would ease the usual congestions in Districts with Hospitals.
The Agenda 111 hospital project which was announced by President Akufo-Addo in April 2020, was to ensure that 101 hospitals are constructed in the six newly created Regions and across Districts without Hospitals for access to quality health care delivery in Ghana.
Eight Districts in the Upper East Region namely; the Bolgatanga East District, Binduri, Garu, Builsa South, Tempane, Nabdam, Pusiga and the Kassena-Nankana West Districts are expected to benefit from the project.
Each facility is expected to be completed within a 12-month period from the point of commencement.