Minister of Health and Population Services Atupele Muluzi has expressed satisfaction with the progress being made in the construction of Phalombe District Hospital.
Speaking when he toured the site yesterday, Muluzi said he was pleased to note that a lot has been accomplished two months after President Peter Mutharika laid a foundation stone.
“I must say I am impressed with the progress as the project is now taking shape. Phalombe District Hospital is an extremely important project for government and, of course, for the people of Phalombe.
“Therefore, I felt it wise to come here to monitor the progress for myself because this project is supposed to be completed by September 2019 and it is extremely important to make sure that work is on schedule,” he said.
Muluzi, who expressed optimism that the project might be completed before September 2019, further said he was impressed by the fact that the contractor is engaging locals in employment.
In his remarks, project manager Sathish Kumar Pullikuth expressed hope of meeting the deadline as they are getting the support they need to forge ahead.
“The set deadline for the project is September 2019, and we are very confident that with the help of the consultants, the ministry and the Department of Buildings, we will be able to manage,” he said.
The hospital project, which Ministry of Health is on record as having said that it became feasible between 2012 and 2014 when financiers were identified, was allocated K50 million in the 2010/11 National Budget, K150 million in the 2011/12 and K100 million in the 2012/13, among others.
However, Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development argued that the funds were allocated for budgeting purposes and that no funds were drawn against the project, an explanation financial commentators queried.
The project is being jointly financed by the government of Malawi, contributing about $5 million (K3.7 billion), Arab Bank for African Economic Development (Badea) contributing $ 7 million (K5 billion) and Saudi Fund for Development pouring in $12 million (K9 billion). n