2 June 2009

Uganda: Works Ministry, City Council Inspect Aya's Hilton Hotel

The Ministry of Works and Transport carried out a joint inspection with Kampala City Council on Aya's Hilton Hotel construction.

The hotel is being constructed at Nakasero hill in the heart of Kampala city.

The joint inspection is a periodic requirement for the engineers from the two agencies to ascertain if the 24-storey rise, which will likely be the tallest hotel in Kampala, has the right enforcements.

The team from the Ministry of Works was led by Eng. Michael Ssentongo and included Eng. Robert Kakiza and Mr. Emmanuel Male, a Quantity Surveyor from the ministry. The Kampala City Council team was headed by Eng. Stephen Kinyera who is the city engineer.

"According to the hotel's plan, at least we have seen that 90% of the structural work has been done. But we shall issue a comprehensive joint report within a few days," Eng. Kinyera said.

An official from the Ministry of Works told this reporter they were surprised to find that Aya has the state of the art machinery that carries out on the spot testing which even the ministry has little access to. The machinery included a simple profoscope which detects reinforcement and concrete strength and gives you results on the spot.

"Formerly, we would take a chip from the site and take it to our laboratories for testing and possibly a week after; we give the developers the results. But with Aya's machinery, you get results immediately and act on detected defects immediately. To me that is excellent and top of the range. The profoscope costs a mere $11,000 but I am not sure if we have it at the ministry," the official said.

The joint inspection team was led to the site by the chairman Aya Group, Mr. Hamid Muhamad together with Eng. Derrick Ssebagala, the Executive Officer of Aya Group.

Ssebagala said Hilton Hotel's construction process has so far passed the Waterman and Waterman Plc London test in terms of concrete strength, reinforcement structure and the Schmidt test.

"Waterman and Waterman Plc, an international engineering consultancy firm, are our structural designers and we are following their advice to the letter without altering anything. Waterman is experienced throughout the property and building markets providing design and management expertise to key sectors including hotels world over. So, you should expect the best that will last for centuries," Ssebagala said.

The Chairman Aya Group, Hamid Muhammad said the construction team at the site is the best in the world with specifically procured materials like cement from Uganda's Hima Cement and iron bars from South Africa.

Aya wants to be known for quality, standard, class and be inspired by delivering world-class facilities. If you have seen the best in the hospitality sector, now with Aya's Hilton Hotel when complete in less than a year, you will affirm it is on top of the best you know of," Muhammad said.

The 24-floor hotel sits on a 14-acre piece of land and will have outdoor restaurants, bars, a night club, a 15-metre swimming pool, fitness studios and a health spa. It will also have a squash court, wedding gardens and floating balconies offering a panoramic view of the whole of Kampala city.

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