By Yusef Taylor, @FlexDan_YT
The Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Gambia Agency for the Management of Public Works (GAMWORKS) have signed a D187 million agreement for the construction of five new health clinics in rural Gambia on Thursday 2nd September 2021. Speaking at the signing ceremony the former Director-General of GAMWORKS, Mr Ebrima Cham highlighted that “health is a priority for every Gambian and signing this contract today is an important milestone because these five clinics will really have a huge impact in the communities that they will be located”.
MoH Demands Quality Work on Time
During the keynote speech by the Permanent Secretary Two for Admin and Finance of the MoH, Mr Lamin Dampha, he underlined that “my message to [the contractors] is very simple, we want quality work and we want the quality work on time. I want the work to start as soon as possible and I want the work to be delivered within the agreed time framework”.
Mr Dampha stressed that “the work delivered must be of the standard that is specified in the specifications. As I said at some point health is everyone’s business because either you or your family or your friend must visit some of these health facilities at some point. And yourself is very likely because you cannot live in this world without getting sick”.
A briefing note provided to Gainako by GAMWORKS indicates that “the contract duration of the project is 6 months” and that “GAMWORKS is responsible for the whole procurement process, contract management and implementation of the entire project”.
On the details of the health clinics, “the project consists of Maternity and Admission ward, Out-patient block, Senior and Junior Staff quarters, Kitchen and Laundry, generator room, Elevated concrete water tank, Solar Borehole, Pedestrian pavement and Perimeter”.
The location of each health clinic, the contractor responsible and construction cost are all available below for each of the five health clinics.
- LOT 1, (SALIKENI NBR), TANZIL COMPANY D36,574,905.00
- LOT 2, (JALI KIANG WEST LRR), BAFAAD ENTERPRISE – D39,063,350.00
- LOT 3, (MANKAMAN KUNDA URR), WE KHAN CONSTRUCTION – D40,378,910.50
- LOT 4, (KISSIMA JAW NBR), GAMBEL CONSTRUCTION -D37,585,755.00
- LOT 5, (SHAREH JULDEH TUMANA DISTRICT), GACH CONSTRUCTION – D33,389,610.00
Total cost of 5 hospitals is D186,992,530.50
Contractors Promise to Deliver Quality on Time
Speaking on behalf of the 5 Contractors, the Managing Director for BAFAAD Enterprise, Mr O Sillah thanked GAMWORKS for the project which he believes is down to their successful track record of delivering. Speaking in Wollof, Mr Sillah explained that the construction of the health facilities will create job opportunities for their staff who are all Gambians.
According to Mr Sillah, every contract will employ at least 60 Gambians and if you multiply 60 by 5 that will be 300. The employment will be able to benefit 300 families which will discourage the backway (illegal migration) he said.
Mr Sillah revealed some of the challenges that contractors face in getting the right type of workers when they travel to rural areas. This forces them to bring workers from urban areas to rural areas. He reiterated that the contractors will deliver on time with good quality.
He concluded by encouraging all contractors to collaborate and communicate effectively. If one contractor has a challenge, others should come and assist so we can deliver because health is very critical he said.
MoH: “State of Art” Infectious Diseases Hospital for Farato
MoH representative, Mr Dampha added that their Ministry is also doing other renovations and the construction of a “State of the Art” infectious diseases hospital. Mr Dampha revealed that “we are not only building these facilities we are embarking on a massive renovation of all the health facilities across the country. We’ve signed quite a number of contracts with contractors that are renovating our health facilities and this renovation is also in phases”.
Explaining the phases of some of the construction projects the Permanent Secretary explained that “some [construction work] have started, some are going on. Like the assessment and design of them are ongoing. Some of them the [construction] work has already started”.
Saving the best for last perhaps Mr Dampha explained that their Ministry was “also building a State-of-the-Art hospital at Farato which is an infectious disease hospital. This was tendered internationally, support from World Bank and that would commence very soon. That work is also going to commence very soon”.