In order to compensate the time wasted when construction works at Hoima International Airport slowed down due to the April rains, night shifts have been introduced amongst the workers.
In an interview with Kazi-njema News, Mr Amos Muriisa, the project publicist for SBI Uganda Limited, a consortium that holds the airport construction contract said they slowed down for fear of the rains sweeping off fresh layers of gravel laid on the airport.
“What we have done is to introduce night shifts before October rains also surface to disrupt normal operations. We want to ensure that by February 2023, the project is ready for commissioning as per the amended contract”, said Mr Muriisa.
On the effects of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the publicist said they were not affected in any way.
“We learned from the first lockdown last year and established a camp that accommodates 600 workers. When this one (second wave of Covid-19) came, we just continued with our works but intensified observance of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)”, he said.
Eng Ronald Twesigye, the manager in charge of Aerodrome Engineering and Planning at the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) had earlier told our reporter that the project was meant to be complete by April 2022 but the design change forced the authority to extend by more 10 months to ensure quality work.
The design was changed around the drainage channel and the control tower.
The airport is intended to facilitate the transportation of equipment needed during the development of oil production infrastructure and the time oil production is going on. There will be movement of people from different parts of the globe for business and employment opportunities.
During the recent media engagement organised by the Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU), the authority’s Corporate Affairs Manager, Gloria Sebikari, urged the local people to invest in commercial agriculture to benefit from this international facility.
“The cargo planes should not return abroad empty. We should use them to export our agricultural products and indirectly benefit from the oil industry”, said Ms Sebikari.
Once completed, it will be the first airport in Bunyoro region.