Civil Works, the contractor building the new Kamuzu Barrage at Liwonde across Shire River, has shifted the deadline for the project to February 2018.
Government’s site representative Toney Nyasulu, who is also senior water resources engineer in the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, said this at the site yesterday when Minister of Transport and Public Works Jappie Mhango visited the project site as part of his tour of road construction projects in the Southern Region.
According to the contract agreement between government and Civil Works, and monitored by the supervising consultant Norplan, the three-year project was initially supposed to be completed by October 2017.
However, due to some delays which Civil Works recorded during the early stages of the project, the contractor earlier informed government that they would need two more months to finish, taking the deadline to December 2017 before shifting it further.
Said Nyasulu: “It is true the contractor registered some delays and now he has told us that the revisited deadline is not achievable and has put it at February 2018.”
Two weeks ago, Norplan project manager Johan Skorve said looking at the pace of the works and all logistics, the work would finish somewhere in 2018.
He said: “They are over four months late and to this we are now adding two more months because they also delayed in procuring gates from India. In total, we are talking of six months delay. So, a realistic completion date for the work would be sometime mid 2018 and that is what we are preparing for now.”
Mhango, however, said government’s interest is on completion and quality of the work.He said he is happy with the progress and asked the contractor to meet the new deadline to reduce additional costs.
“In construction, delays are inevitable, but we are happy with the commitment by the contractor and we are optimistic the new deadline will be met,” he said.
Nyasulu assured the minister that government is not affected by the shifts in deadline.