By Max Patrick Ocaido
The contractor-Finasi/Roko SPV Limited has described the incident where government officials were blocked from accessing Lubowa Specialized Hospital construction site as “unfortunate.”
In a statement released by Finasi/Roko Spokesperson Irene Ochwo on Tuesday afternoon, Finasi/Roko says that the “unfortunate incident was caused by the lack of appropriate notification to the SPV regarding the intended visit.”
Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng, Health PS Diana Atwine and MPs sitting on the committee on National Economy were in the morning blocked from accessing the site in a bid to carry out their oversight role.
Finasi says that it was would have been appropriate for the government officials to have notified them about their intended visit for proper planning and safety measures.
“It is critical procedure at all construction sites that health and safety measures must be sufficiently adhered to at all times for all persons, including visitors. On the site, there are heavy moving machinery and equipment, open trenches among others that are potentially hazardous to human life if not well managed. This requires proper planning and safety measures to be taken prior to admission of members of the public into the site. This is an industry practice as well as standard operating procedures for a construction site,” the statement reads.
According to the Project Works Investment Agreement signed between the Project Company and Government, every visitor requires prior reasonable notice to the SPV to prepare health and safety gear and apparel, as well as to conduct health and safety induction to the intended visitors.
“It is common knowledge that if any personal injury or other damage occurs on the site, responsibility for such injury or damage falls squarely with the contractor (in this case, the SPV). In order to properly manage this kind of risk, the entry of any person who is not a construction worker onto the site must be arranged well ahead of time. It would have been helpful to know the purpose and length of the visit as well as the number of persons intended for admission to the site, so that the required apparatus/equipment are assembled and made available,” the statement reads.
“It is hoped that the Ministry of Health as the owner of the Project can give adequate notice for the next visit so the necessary arrangements can be made.”
Finasi/Roko says that they are committed to delivering the International Specialized Hospital within the agreed timeline and to comply with the health and safety best practices.