MPs clear Karamoja health housing project

Parliament last week approved Euro 20 million housing project for medical workers in Karamoja.

The loan request presented by the Ministry of Health had days earlier been met with resistance from the legislators who questioned the cost of each housing unit.  

 The Vice Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on National Economy, Hon. Lawrence Bategeka said that the Committee had analyzed the architectural designs provided by the Ministry of Health and found them commensurate with the cost implications indicated in the loan request.

On Wednesday, 17 June 2020, MPs resolved to halt the approval the loan from the Government of Italy to finance the Karamoja Infrastructure Development project under the health sector citing irregularities in the unit cost of the houses.

However, following consultations with the Ministry of health and technical experts, Bategeka said the cost of the units was representative of the architectural plans.

“The architectural designs indicate the unit as a double staff house of 225 square meters. Each house consists two bedrooms, one bathroom, one toilet, two stores, two kitchens (one external) and two lounges (one external),” he added.

The 76 medical staff houses are estimated to cost shs13.1 billion and are part of the infrastructure development component. Other components of the project will include equipment and retooling, consultancy and project management of health services in Karamoja.

A section of MPs had raised concern about the costs of the units saying technocrats could have inflated the cost of the houses for their own benefit.

The Speaker Rebecca Kadaga advised the government to ensure that other projects where staff houses are to be built, a provision for separate bedrooms for male and female children is made to avoid cases of sexual abuse.

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