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General News of Thursday, 30 April 2020

Source: Daily Guide Network

Tension at Fomena, Kumawu over uncompleted hospitals

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Tension is mounting in Fomena and Kumawu in the Adansi North District and the Sekyere Kumawu District respectively in the Ashanti Region over uncompleted hospitals in the areas.

Angry residents claimed the projects had been abandoned after they had continuously waited for construction works to commence on the projects, which were part of the six hospitals in the “Build to Care Ghana Project” left uncompleted by the Mahama National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration.

Works on a 120-bed hospital facility for the Sekyere Kumawu District were abandoned after its construction started in 2015.

The Fomena Hospital project, with the same bed capacity, also stalled in 2017 and was expected to see completion by the end of 2019 after a promise by the Ministry of Health, but it did not see daylight.

The Ministry of Health and the NMS Infrastructure Limited signed a $175 million contract for the delivery of six new district hospitals under its programme to invigorate regional and district healthcare in the country.

It is now seeking to cancel the contract for the turnkey projects because the contractors have abandoned sites, thereby putting pressure on the government.

There are claims that the projects stalled because the previous NDC administration mismanaged the funds and the amounts spent on the projects appear not to commensurate with work done so far.

However, residents of Fomena and Kumawu have been complaining bitterly about the government’s inability to get the contractors back to site to complete the hospitals and are now growing frustrated and impatient.

They have accordingly scheduled a protest march to express their disgust about the project’s abandonment.

The Fomena Constituency Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Akwasi Nti, who confirmed the planned protest, said people in the district “feel abandoned” after the hospital project had been left uncompleted.

He said on Kessben FM in Kumasi that “Cables of electrical wiring of the project are being stolen with several reports made on it to the Fomena police. I have personally travelled back and forth between Fomena and Accra on this project for the past eight months, but there appears to be no hope.”

According to him, it seems funding is the problem for the hospital project and appealed to the government to pay the contractor in order to come and complete it for the constituents.

“I am begging the government on behalf of the people to come and complete the hospital for us. We are going into an election and we need something tangible like the hospital to campaign with. Even though Fomena Constituency is a stronghold, the people are no pushovers. They are discerning,” he stressed.

The District Chief Executive (DCE), Samuel Addai Agyekum, said a total of $93 million would be required for the Kumawu and Fomena hospital projects to be completed.

According to him, the amount includes variation cost and tax waivers in the contracts that were not honoured by the previous government, adding that NMS Infrastructure Limited Company, the contractors, claimed they were not paid and would need the money to be able to go back to work and finish the two projects.

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