Five potable water projects in the towns of Gojo, Azgori, Chancho, Mikawa and Gundo Masquel have become operational last month at the cost of 212 million Br financed by the Oromia Water, Mineral & Energy Bureau (OWMEB).
The projects benefit around 147,000 residents of the towns located in the Eastern and Western Shoa as well as West Wollega zones.
The two projects, Gojo and Mikawa, have cost the region 48 million Br and 28 million Br, respectively and were completed six months earlier than the planned two years time.
While the remaining Azgori is worth 20 million Br, Chancho is worth 42 million Br and Gundo Masquel that consumed 74 million Br, have taken more than five to six years from the intended time of completion.
Project administration, timely provision of inputs and extended Letters of Credit opening time, as well as design improvements, are some of the reasons for the delay of the projects, according to Gurmessa Oljira, the director of contract administration and construction at the Bureau.
“Most of the towns used water from wells before the commencement of the projects except Gundo Masquel, which did not have that option,” said Gurmessa.
Four contractors have been executing undertaking these projects out of which Gashaw Banti Water Works & Building Contractor, established almost a decade ago, has been engaged in various projects such as sewerage line construction in Bole Arabsa condominiums as well as accomplishing the projects of Azgori and Chancho.
The project of Gojo has been carried out by Alemayehu Tefera Water Works General Contractor, which was established early this decade and has engaged in water-related projects at Illubabur zone among others.
Equatorial Engineering Construction completed Gundo Mesquel project. Equatorial Engineering, Grade one contractor which was established in 2009, has been accomplishing several projects in Oromia and Amhara regional states such as water supply in Metebla and Kabe towns with the cost of 38 million Br and 20.5 million Br, respectively.
Dawit Gebrekidan, manager of Equatorial Engineering, attributes late provision of pipes, fittings, generators and pumps by the bureau after the completion of the civil work as reasons for the delay.
The contract for the project of Mikawa has been given to Shodeb Engineering Construction, grade one construction company established in 2005 in Addis Abeba. The company has constructed 86 water supply projects all over the country, including in Semera, Metema and Humera, according to Tedla Chanyalew, general manager of the company.
The project of Gundo Mesquel differs from the remaining projects as the water is directly pumped from the springs which are located 13km away from the town. The water reaches the city using three booster stations that are capable of pumping 80 cubic metres of water an hour.
The other projects are initiated from the deep well water and delivered through water pipes with pumping capacity of between 15 cubic metres to 26 cubic metres of water an hour.
Oromia Water Works Design & Supervision Enterprise, which was established in 2006 and has undertaken the study and design of medium to mega-scale development projects in the country, consulted all of the projects.
The consultant’s contract administration and construction supervisor manager, Tofik Sabit, attributes the delay to the provision of electromechanical goods for the project and capacity problems of contractors and design changes as major problems.
The Bureau is still in the process of executing several water projects in different zones of the Oromia Regional State by allocating 1.7 billion Br for the current fiscal year, which is less by a billion Birr from the previous one. Close to 60pc of Oromia’s residents get clean water, which the region hopes to raise by nine percentage points this fiscal year, according to Gurmessa.
The Bureau has provided water to 986,000 people, accomplishing 308 large and medium water projects, and 360 minor community assisted waterworks such as spring expansion as well as hand-dug and shallow wells in the current fiscal year.
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