Construction of Karuma dam in Uganda hit by cement and labour shortage

Construction of Karuma dam in Uganda hit by cement and labour shortage

Contractors for the Karuma dam in Uganda have complained of shortage of the right quality of cement and workers that has adversely slowed their operations.

In a media brief to journalists over the weekend at the construction site, the Karuma Hydro power plant project liaison officer Mr Qu Jinwei, said they were forced to source the High grade 42.5 cement from Kenya since both Hima and Tororo cement factories could not deliver the qualities they need as they are used to producing the ordinary cement.

“We inspected their factories before we started the project and we noticed that they could not supply the qualities we wanted so we had to look elsewhere and we found Savanah Cement in Kenya,” he said.

In response to the causes of the cracks in the dam, he said the cracks cannot be directly attributed to the cement used because they are negligible and they happen all the time in such types of projects.
He said they would hold consultations with the parent company in China so as to rectify them. Mr Jinwei said another major challenge encountered is lack of qualified dumper truck drivers can work in the tunnels where a lot of the operations takes place.

“We have recruited many drivers who come on site but when we take them to the highly restricted area where most of our operations are, many of them cannot maneuver the trucks through the tunnels,” he said.
Mr. Alok Kala, Tororo Cement chief marketing manager rubbished remarks over the quality o their cement saying the contractor has never bought their cement but they have been supplying to Isimba hydro dam.

One of the drivers who spoke on condition of anonymity, rubbished claims that Ugandan drivers cannot operate and manage the trucks, saying that the pay is way below the workload.

This comes barely a few days after senior officials from the ministry of energy were suspended by President Museveni after it came to light that they did shoddy work at the Karuma and Isimba dams. Among those axed are Engineers Paul Mubiru, Henry Bidasala and Cecilia Menya

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