Ntcheu Stadium Project to Meet September Deadline

By Maston Kaiya, MANA

Jooma (C) being briefed on the progress of the project

The deadline for the construction of a 20,000 capacity Ntcheu Sports Stadium still remains September, 2020 despite the Covid-19 threat that has affected the whole world.

Plem Construction Limited, Project Manager, Ajai Mohen made the revelation on Wednesday when the Minister of Transport and Public Infrastructure together with officials of the National Construction Industry Council (NCIC) toured the construction site.

The tour was part of the Ministry’s and NCIC’s commitment to appreciate compliance of COVID-19 preventive measures set by government to contain the spread of the pandemic.

Mohen highlighted that the original contract period was 52 weeks commencing from November 1, 2017 and was expected to be completed by November 1, 2018. It was then, revised to run for 152 weeks, pushing the completion date to September 30, 2020.

“All the preventative measures put up by government are being followed and materials needed for the completion are available. So far, we are at 70 percent completion, which means we will meet the September deadline,” he said.

In his remarks, Minister Responsible, Ralph Jooma said government is aware that the construction industry is at high level risk but resolved to allow them to continue working by observing preventative measures.

“Workers in the construction industry are at high risk because of crowding, exchange in usage of tools, operation of machines besides lower levels of education, among other factors,” observed Jooma.

The Minister said the ideal thing was to suspend the construction works but government wanted to balance the fact that the industry has high levels of employment.

He hailed Plem Construction Limited for complying with the guidelines and expressed happiness that the facility will be completed by the set deadline and be handed over to the people of Ntcheu.

National Construction Industry Council (NCIC), Chief Executive Officer, Linda Phiri, said apart from their usual mandate to monitor all construction sites on a regular basis in the construction industry, her organization has also put up Covid 19 preventative guidelines which contractors are expected to comply with.

Part of the Ntcheu sports facility

While commending Plem Construction Limited for complying with Covid-19 preventive measures, Phiri warned those contravening the guidelines that NCIC will not hesitate but issue stop order.

“We are satisfied with the implementation of the Covid-19 measures being taken by the contractor. We are doing this to ensure that construction sites are not breeding grounds for the virus,” said Phiri.

“If we come to construction sites that are not adhering to the measures, we are going to put stop orders until they comply,” warned Phiri.

On 2nd June 2020, the State President, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika made a surprise visit to the facility where he was assured that the contractor would complete the construction works valued at MK4.6 Billion in September this year.

The project comprises construction of Ntcheu Stadium and assorted external works in Ntcheu, including upgrading of a tarmac road to the facility.

The Stadium has various key elements such as VIP covered stands, open stands, VIP 3 storey building, running track, stands screen wall all-round the stadium, ticketing offices, ablution blocks, flood lights, perimeter fence and car parks.

The stadium upon completion is expected to be the third largest stadium in the country in terms of capacity and also the second most beautiful stadium in Malawi.

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