18 September 2017

Botswana: Mohembo Bridge Behind Schedule

Mohembo — Construction of the Okavango River bridge in Mohembo is five months behind schedule.

The scheduled completion date of the multi-million project was July 7, 2019, while the project commenced on November 8, 2016.

Briefing the Parliamentary Committee on Communications, Works, Transport and Technology recently, project consultant, Mr Kobamelo Kgoboko attributed the delay to some factors amongst them; the delay in mobilisation of the contractor's site establishment and the delay in drilling of additional boreholes for the foundation.

Other reasons mentioned included challenges in obtaining licences for burrow pits, challenging site conditions for additional geotechnical investigations and also the expropriation of one of the resident's plot, which is yet to be concluded.

He said the project overall status as of August 31, 2017 was 15 per cent instead of the expected 33 per cent.

The consultant further said there were some hydrological considerations during construction, such as minimal impedance of flow on flood plain, no obstruction of flow in the main channel and to ensure no or negligible sedimentation.

As for risk management, Mr Kgoboko said regular communication and consultation amongst stakeholders was done.

He said they also had an effective environmental monitoring system and an effective safety management system as well as experienced public relation officers.

One of the committee members, Mr Machana Shamukuni, who is also Member of Parliament for Chobe said, they had visited a number of projects in the country and it was worrisome that most of them were behind schedule.

Another committee member, Mr Phenyo Butale, also Gaborone Central MP said it was a concern for almost all government projects to be behind schedule, adding that when the contractor does not complete the project on time and within budget, it would mean more expenses for government.

Meanwhile, upon completion, the 1.161 km long bridge will provide reliable access to services, most importantly health and education among others and also open up the district for future economic activities.

The bridge will also make it feasible for expansion of future road network and improve tourism in the area.

Source : BOPA

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