Construction work on a 100-bedroom hospital in Rivergee County has reportedly encountered serious setback as the contractor said to have earlier won the bid in 2008 to execute the project is being relegated for another company.
Information available to this paper revealed that authorities at the Ministry Health and Social Welfare have allegedly awarded the contract to another company. The bid was earlier won by Afrique Construction and Maintenance Company in 2008 with a contract valued at $US800, 000. But the Health Ministry later awarded the same contract to an unknown company for US$1.1 million.
The Ministry has not provided reason for the abrupt change, particularly in the absence of a formal bidding process like it did with the previous contractor. Residents of Fish-town predominantly young people have expressed concern about delay in the construction, terming the situation as appalling and unfortunate.
Two youths of the county Sam D. Bole and Prince Emmanuel Telo in a press conference in Monrovia recently said that due to delay in constructing the hospital, residents of the county faced with difficulty in accessing healthcare. Sam Bole said some of colleagues are opposed to the new contractor because work done so far on the site is substandard.
He said that the government has forgotten the health needs of the people of River Gee County so they were barely surviving by the grace of God. “It appears that the government and Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf have forgotten us and our people are surviving by the grace of God. The health system of our county is detrimental as though we are not part of Liberia”, he said.
According to him, the new company has refused to display its name on the construction site thus, raising doubts in the minds of the people whether it has professional knowledge to execute the job.
When Health and Social Welfare Minister Dr. Walter T. Gwenigale was contacted via mobile phone, he promised to conduct an inquiry into the matter before making any public statement.