ARUA CITY: Authorities in Arua city have appealed for calm from the public after a part of the multi-billion Arua Hill stadium and business park collapsed on Wednesday morning.
The incident left many onlookers stunned and quickly fuelled speculation that the collapse could have been caused due to shoddy work and poor supervision at the site.
But authorities have assured the public that despite some gaps in supervision and a few nitty-gritties to sort out, there was no cause for alarm.
“We have inspected the incident and basically there is no cause for a lot of alarm for now, but the workers need to be careful as they try to rectify the problem, we will be on ground to help them correct the structure based on the approved design procedures” Said Eng. Anthony Dradria, the Arua city engineer.
“We are going to have some few nitty-gritty issues with them because we don’t have to leave them alone otherwise a similar problem might occur again” Eng Dradria said.
Ms Nesma Ocokoru, the chairperson of Arua hill division expressed gratitude that no human casualties were recorded in the accident but rued the poor supervision from technical staff.
“I want to thank God that the collapse of the part has not injured anybody but the two technical parties from the council and the developer now need to sit together to iron out what has gone bad because the public perception is very bad for now”, she said.
“I have seen that there has been a problem of supervision either by the contractor or developer because if they have always been here, we would not have the scenario of other lower workers just acting on their own”, Ocokoru further stated.
She said the public has been awash with complaints especially pertaining the roofing saying the timber used in the construction did not conform to the planned design. She urged the two technical teams to immediately sort the issue so that the public is given the right information.
Mr Sunday Etrima, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Development Infrastructure (DI) the contractor undertaking the stadium works said two carpenters working on the ceiling mistakenly removed the support for a cantilever before its due maturity date leading to its collapse.
“We casted that cantilever which is a design not supported by any column 15 days ago and technically when you cast concrete you must remove the support after 28 days” Etrima said.
“We had informed them that they are not supposed to remove the support for the cantilevers and I don’t know what happened that they removed the support, because the concrete has not matured for 28 days, it developed weakness and fell but not the whole building, it’s just a small part”
He said at the time the carpenters removed the support of the cantilevers, all the site engineers had moved to one side of the project.
He assured the public that the problem was a small one that can be fixed within a week and ruled out shoddy work saying the project has always been open for public scrutiny.
Arua city Mayor Alhajj Issa Kato asked the two technical teams to quickly fix the problems but warned that the council expects the project to be delivered within the stipulated time frame.
The mayor with a host of other technical and political leaders camped at the construction site for hours after the incident.
Apart from the sports stadium, the Arua hill project is expected to house shops, a hotel, banks and a host of other social amenities.