Finally, ‘construction of Sinohydro pledged hospital to Oyam starts tomorrow’


Minister [MP] Betty Amongi addressing Journalists in Kamdini on Saturday.

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Summary

  • Kampala City Minister also the Oyam South MP Betty Amongi beats Defense State Minister P. Charles Okello Engola two years later. Mr Okello is also the Oyam North MP.
  • Location to construct the pledged hospital drew mixed reactions from both leaders in the district
  • The hospital is to offer various medical treatments to communities across northern Uganda and beyond

Kamdini, Oyam—31, May 2020: After nearly two years of flexing muscles by the Oyam’s two political influencers in (MPs) and Ministers P. Charles Okello Engola Macodwogo and Betty Amongi, the dust has finally settled.

Mrs Betty Amongi Akena is the Minister for Kampala Capital City Authority [KCCA] while Col Rtd P. Charles Okello Engola Macodwogo is the State Minister for Defense.

Their feud was about where a hospital offered to the people of Oyam by Sinohydro Corporation Limited, a Chinese firm constructing Karuma dam should be located.

From 2017, Col. Engola demanded that the construction of the said hospital be in Iceme sub-county. That same year he said the community had allocated over 100 acres of land to house the hospital. But Minister Betty Amongi preferred Dicwinyi in Kamdini sub-county.

“Your Excellency, the problem here in Oyam is that we have a hospital given to us by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development……,” this was Minister Engola’s first statement years ago.

He added: “….but there is a Minister who I think is very sharp, I think and she claims to be very close to you…. the minister has written to the Prime Minister saying you have directed her to remove that hospital from here.” Minister Okello Engola attempted to accuse Betty Amongi before president Museveni who was attending his thanksgiving ceremony on 19, August 2018.

The President in his address later that day declined to offer any concrete response on the matter since Betty Amongi was out of the country that day.

Now, and surely, the battle has been won by Minister Amongi. She announced on Saturday that construction of the hospital which costs $15m about Uganda shilling 5bn will ‘start in Dicwinyi village, Kamdini sub-county on Monday [tomorrow]’.

Minister Amongi told TND News that she inspected the construction site on Saturday, found it already cleared awaiting approval by a consultant before construction work can start on Monday.

She reveals having a meeting with the engineers led by Eng Charles Habalurema of Kiru General Construction Company. This company, she reveals, is undertaking the construction of the hospital. “They assured me construction works would start soon,” Oyam South MP added.

“I visited the site today [Saturday], it has been cleared and they will start with the construction of the Outpatient Department and Nurses quarters,” Amongi confirms.

According to the Minister, construction of the hospital has to be complete by December 2020. This is the same period for the end of construction of Karuma power dam by Sinohydro.

She further revealed that the “construction company has brought with it only nine experts, most of them engineers,” adding: “It will recruit the rest of the workforce or labor from within the local community.”

Asked if she considers this as one of her achievements as Oyam South MP, Betty Amongi said she attributes the success to the community and her voters.

“This is an achievement for and by everyone even the LC1 of Dicwinyi village who went to Kampala and advocated for this hospital, and so did the LC3 chairperson among others,” said the KCCA Minister.

Mr Sam Paul Ogwang Alunyu, the LC 3 chairperson of Kamdini sub-county has welcomed this new development and tells TND News that the facility at the status of a district hospital once completed will serve a wider community and improve service delivery.

Beatrice Abang, a vendor at Kamdini Town Council, is happy that the controversy that existed all this while has ended. She wants the hospital expeditiously constructed and says she is concerned about maternal health.

Meeting the sub-county task force

Betty Amongi later held a meeting with sub-county task forces in Oyam South with major discussions on how to protect the people from COVID-19 pandemic and how to deal with the challenges brought by truck drivers.

“My worry is when public transport resumes on 4, June 2020, there will be many vehicles passing through Kamdini and I want to emphasize that we wear face masks all the time,” Amongi said.

The Minister also inspected an open space about a kilometre away from Kamdini Town Council with intentions of gazetting it for parking by truck drivers in case they want to make a stopover to avoid them from interacting with the local community.

ofrank@tndnewsug.com


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