Construction of the Maseru Eye Clinic in Lesotho is set to begin in 5 months time after the government has finished processing the the travel visas of the Chinese contractors and engineers that are supposed to implement the project. Apart from the visas the government is also expecting hurdles caused by travel bans in different countries that they are supposed to pass through on their way from China to Lesotho.
Construction of the US $48.4m Maseru Eye Clinic (formerly Queen II Hospital) was initially scheduled to begin in 2018 but failed to kick-off after the government delayed demolishing the old structures. The delays were largely due to the bickering between the ministries of Health and that of Public Works over the costs of demolishing Queen Elizabeth II Hospital.
The Ministry of Public Works had confirmed that the job would cost US $1.8m while the Health ministry said it would cost US $967,937.07. The Ministry of Health then resorted to using the army to reduce the cost but the companies that had won the tender challenged the decision. The Ministry of Health ended up convincing the nine companies that had been contracted for the job to do it for US $967,937.07 and they started the work in April this year, four months after the January 2020 deadline set by the Chinese government which is funding the project. China is funding the project through a grant.
The much bigger Maseru Hospital is expected to benefit at least 400 000 people in Maseru and other districts.