The contractor working on the 2nd phase of the Kejetia Market redevelopment project insists it will meet the contractual timelines set for the project; this is on the premise that the remaining part of the site has been secured for work to progress.
A source from the company working on the contract has given the assurance that if the remaining portion of the area is released, the project will be completed within the contractual timelines.
However, the source maintained that what could disrupt their timetable would be the delays on the access to the area and further impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Also, the Company has expressed concern on the soil stability on the area of the project site which is yet to be secured, noting that it is part of the risk issues against completing work on time.
The Community Liaison Officer of the Brazilian construction firm, Contracta Engineering Limited, Mr. Emmanuel Danso, who spoke on behalf of the company, said presently “works are on-going on the demolitions and foundations. Building frame and the roof have started arriving and will be on site by June 2020.”
The project, which took off with a sod-cutting ceremony performed by the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, in May 2019, has endured a slow start, for the past 21 months.
He said “the main challenge to date has been the inability to have the full release of the construction area that will allow the progress of the foundations.”
He explained that COVID-19 pandemic also affected the progress of work on the steel frame production in the UK due to the successive lockdowns and delays on the mobilization of resources from abroad.
Notwithstanding these setbacks, he disclosed that the company it is working in close partnership with the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA), and complying with all requests related to preparation of the alternative area for traders, still occupying part of the project area to be relocated.
Meanwhile, to mitigate the possible impact of COVID-19, he added that all procurement processes are being done ahead of time, as well as ensuring early mobilization of resources needed for the work.
However, he noted that they will have to carry out a detailed survey of the actual soil conditions of the yet to be secured project area still being occupied by traders, after the traders are moved.
The Metropolitan Chief Executive, of KMA, Osei Assibey Antwi, in an interview acknowledged that some traders are still occupying parts of the old market which is under construction.
He therefore added that efforts are being made to relocate all of them to allow the construction work to progress.
While these developments are stalling the project, it is understood that the first tranche, €87 million, of the €248 million total project financing package has been released since February 2020. The government is further expected to go in for the second tranche around April 2021.
The Liaison Officer of Asantehene on the Kejetia / Central Market projects, Nana Agyenim Boateng I, Amoamanhene, indicated that the current situation was worrying, especially as the government has to go in again for the next part of the financing package this year.
Speaking in an interview last month, at a public briefing on the project, he noted that every effort is being made to address the situation for the speedy continuation of the remaining work.
The Amoamanhene, who also doubles as the Vice Chairman of the Kumasi City Market Limited said the Manhyia Palace continues to hold its part of the social covenant to the project with the hope to ensuring overall project success.
Ongoing work on the 2nd phase of the Kejetia Market redevelopment