Report damns sports projects
The construction of Aquatic Sports Complex and Griffin Saenda Sports Complex in Lilongwe flouted building procedures, a report has revealed.
This is according to a report by a Joint Technical Committee (JTC) comprising architects, engineers and quantity surveyors from the Board of Architects and Quantity Surveyors, Malawi Engineering Institution, Malawi Institute of Architects and Surveyors Institute of Malawi.
The report was released in the local newspapers yesterday.
Among other findings, the report states that construction of the two facilities commenced using designs that had not been approved by the Lilongwe City Council Planning Committee.
“This sets a bad precedent as planning approvals are not meant for rubber stamping; rather, they provide a window to the much-needed stakeholder input as well as incorporation of acceptable designs in the urban space. Obtaining planning approval would have helped to highlight the incomplete designs and perhaps avoid some variations,’’ the report reads.
The two projects are expected to be concluded by June 30 this year despite hosting the Region 5 Youth Games last year.
However, according to the report, there was no formal documentation on the extension of the project.
“The project had suffered a lot of changes and work variations, unfortunately, were not priced at the time JTC visited the sites. This has potential to expose the client to higher claims and may lead to contract disputes,’’ the report reads.
In addition, the report has recommended the review of the Buildings Department’s capacity and mandate to handle projects.
“Direct involvement of the Department of Buildings in construction activities, specifically playing the role of consultants in some government projects, puts the National Construction Industry Council (NCIC), as a construction regulator, in a difficult position when it comes to policing the sector,” it says.
Director of the Department of Buildings Sam Ngoma confirmed receipt of the report.
“Indeed, the projects were supposed to go through all the processes. But the sites already had master plans. We cannot afford to violate the procedures,” Ngoma said.
The report comes after construction of the two facilities stalled due to lack of funds.
Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Youth and Sports Isaac Katopola said he was not aware of the report.
The Griffin Saenda Sports Complex budget was K7.7 billion whereas K8 billion was for Aquatic Sports Complex.
The two facilities hosted the Games although they were not fully completed.
After the Games in December, the government handed back the facilities to the contractors to complete works.
However, the government has not allocated funds for the completion of the Indoor Sports Complex whereas the Aquatic has been allocated funds.