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Work on GH¢82-million UMaT legacy projects progresses steadily

BY: Timothy Ngnenbe
The UMaT cafeteria complex under construction
The UMaT cafeteria complex under construction

The Minerals Development Fund (MDF) has, since 2017, invested over GH¢30 million in eight major ongoing infrastructure projects at the University of Mines and Technology, Tarkwa (UMaT) in the Western Region.

The projects include a five-storey administration block, a four-storey faculty block with lecture halls and offices, a two-storey cafeteria complex, two-storey, eight-flat, three-bedroom apartments and a guest house.

The rest are a sports complex comprising a football field, basketball and volleyball courts, reinforced concrete seats and tartan tracks; the external works on the administration block and frontage fence wall and security gates.

Known as the legacy projects, the facilities, with a contract sum totalling over GH¢82 million, are at various stages of completion.

They were started by the previous government between 2010 and 2012 but stalled because of the lack of funds until the MDF took over the funding in 2017.

Progress of work

During a working visit by MDF board members to the UMaT last Wednesday, it was observed that work was progressing steadily on the projects.

The team was led by the Chairman of the MDF Board, Mr Kwaku Sakyi-Addo.

The Daily Graphic observed that while the administration block had been completed and handed over to the university for use last year, work on the other projects was progressing steadily.

For instance, the cafeteria complex project was 90 per cent complete, the faculty block 70 per cent, while the frontage wall was 99 per cent complete.

At the sports complex, it was observed that, overall, the project was over 60 per cent complete. The football field, grassing and drainage components of the work had been completed, while work was ongoing on the seating stands.

The two-storey flats project had also gone past the 50 per cent completion point.

Satisfactory work

Mr Sakyi-Addo described the work that had been done on the UMaT legacy projects as largely satisfactory and urged the contractors to speed up work to complete the outstanding components.

He observed that what the board had seen at the UMaT was a justification that the GHc30 million that had so far been invested in those eight projects had been put to good use.

"Mining communities and institutions that are directly involved in mining deserve better, and what I have seen here shows that if we really do the right things, we can improve the lives of our people who are affected by mining activities," he said.

While commending the local management communities (LMCs) of the MDF for doing a good job, the Administrator of the fund, Dr Norris Hammah, stressed the need for a proper maintenance culture to ensure that the projects make the desired impact on many lives.

He said the practice whereby projects were left to rot after they had been handed over because of poor maintenance culture would not be countenanced.

"The MDF Secretariat will ensure that all LMCs comply with the guidelines for constructing the projects and also require that a sustainability plan be presented before projects are approved," he said.