PIB 2018 : Nkolndongo District hospital 30% completed in 4 years

PIB 2018

Nkolndongo District hospital 30% completed in 4 years

Launched in 2018 by the Ministry of Public Health, the work will progress at a snail’s pace and will then be abandoned by the winning company.

In order to improve the working conditions of health personnel at the Nkolndongo district hospital (DH), the Ministry of Public Health had provided in its public investment budget (PIB) on behalf of the year 2018, the construction of a R + 2 building to house the various departments of the Nkolndongo district hospital and the rehabilitation of existing buildings. The work was awarded to the company Tami Sarl as project owner on November 23, 2018 and to the CMA and ATECS group, responsible for monitoring the work. Except that between November 2018 and June 2021, i.e. 2 years 7 months later, the site which was to be delivered in 20 months, or 1 year 8 months’ duration of the work is only a shadow of itself. On the ground, we can see that the site is completely abandoned, the shadow of a worker is no longer perceptible.

The R + 2 building, which work had actually started in May 2019, is 6 to 7 months late in its start-up phase. On the site one can notice that the sound of a hammer has not sounded for several months. Nevertheless, the construction works of the ground floor were carried out, the slab to support the walls of the first floor of the building was poured and the walls raised. Regarding level two, we can see that the wood to serve as a support for the installation of the second slab has been started and it is at this level that the work was abandoned.

On the ground, materials such as sand, gravel, concrete blocks and iron are at the mercy of inclement weather. An inventory that attests that the construction and rehabilitation site of the Nkolndongo district hospital has indeed been abandoned for months. Approached, the director of the Nkolndongo district hospital, Dr Joseph Guekeme, said he was far from knowing the reasons for the abrupt halt. He said he was not yet in service at the said hospital when the work began.

For the general supervisor of the hospital, Sylvie Mbeze, the accusing finger is pointed at the company in charge of the work which did not meet the deadlines. The latter informed that the company Tami Sarl had indicated that the building should be ready by the end of 2020 and the hospital should integrate the premises by January 2021 at the latest. Except that until June 2021, the work is abandoned. Reached by telephone, Dany Malong Ngouanfo, one of the managers of the Tami Sarl company, states that « the delay observed in the start of work is due to the fact that there were buildings housing the services of the hospital that had to be demolished before starting work.

The director of DH at the time believed that this infrastructure could not be destroyed. It took the intervention of the Minister of Public Health, who wrote a letter to the head of the hospital asking him to let the company destroy the building. And there, we were already 6 to 7 months late on the start of the works”.

Late start

Despite the delay observed, the company Tami Sarl on June 11, 2019 will proceed with the destruction of the building and will undertake to construct a building in temporary materials to the far left of the site to house the observation services of the sick. Then, it will proceed with the construction of a construction site hut and will start the structural work. Following a field trip by the CMA and ATECS group accompanied by the head of the order letter and Minsanté market service in the presence of the managers of the Tami Sarl company, it emerges that the rate of consumption of deadlines is 10% and the completion rate is 11% as of June 30, 2019.

The Minister of Public Health, Manaouda Malachie, will estimate that the rate of completion of the work is very low for a site awarded to a company more than a year ago. In December 2019, the Minister of Health will serve a termination letter to the company for failure to meet contractual deadlines. Manaouda Malachie will judge that Tami Sarl is late in respecting the specifications, according to Dany Malong Ngouanfo. Contacted by telephone, Roland Bekono, one of the managers of the CMA and ATECS group responsible for monitoring the work, certifies on the one hand that the cause of the suspension of the work is due to the failure to meet the deadlines: “During the various working sessions that we had with the company Tami Sarl, the problem was at the level of the slowness in the progress of the work”, we learn.

Following the Health Minister decision, the director of the company requested an extension until early 2020 to remove the shell from the earth, a request which will be granted. Except that a few months after this agreement, in April 2020 precisely, the coronavirus pandemic will befall Cameroon and the company will face many difficulties. “We ended up with a dozen employees on the site since we had to respect the anti-Covid measures. Another factor was that Tami Sarl was struggling financially. Its various sites no longer brought in cash due to the Covid, everything was on stand-by,” continues Dany Malong Ngouanfo.

Ephemeral recovery

As the pandemic eased slightly, the Nkolndongo’s work will immediately resume, but the change will not really be felt on the ground. Between February and March 2021, Manaouda Malachie will serve for a second time a formal notice to Tami Sarl as noted by Dany Malong: « These works have been stopped for about three months because of a formal notice signed by the Minister. of Health. As always, the latter was not happy with the delay in the company. In his correspondence, the head of Health will ask that the work be stopped and so that the ministry can assess what has already been done and then see if it is possible that the company will continue with the site or not « .

At the time of the work stoppage after the last assessment by the CMA and ATECS consortium’s control team, the work progress rate hovered around 25 to 30%. This site, which has been abandoned for months now, is having a considerable impact on HD activity in Nkolndongo. The patients face legendary promiscuity, the observation room made of temporary materials is narrow in view of the number of patients received, no pediatrics worthy of the name, no toilet for women and men among others. As for the staff, many are in the cottages for lack of work space.

To date, hospital officials want the work to be completed so that they integrate the new premises in order to better care for the sick. Their gaze is now on the owner, the Ministry of Public Health.


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