New Lesotho parliament building handover delayed

20:04, November 15, 2010      

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The official handover of the China- sponsored new Lesotho parliament building in the capital Maseru has been delayed.

Public Works Minister Tsele Chakela told the National Assembly that the delay was due to some items which the Chinese Technical Team (as contractor) has to attend to and rectify in the building.

The minister said there were also other obligations which the Lesotho government had to meet relating to the construction.

Among critical issues which have to be addressed by the technical team, the minister said, is the installation of firm and sturdy chairs, with appropriate color.

There has also been a request by the parliament authorities to remove a ramp, already installed, that leads to the speaker's chair, Chakela said.

"All the aforementioned items have been formally communicated to the Chinese government by the government of Lesotho; currently we are awaiting approval and response from the Chinese Embassy. Upon approval completion date will be know," the minister said.

Obligations that the Lesotho government has to fulfill include the provision of permanent electricity supply to the premises. Existing power supply is for construction work only and not enough to cater for the new structure.

The Lesotho government also has to provide permanent water supply to the premises, as the existing water supply tank is at a lower level than that of the new building. Water needs to be pumped from the lower supply point to the building, and a special pump has to be installed to achieve this.

Training is also required for technicians to operate. More time is need also for fire fighting devices, security cameras and lighting within the National Assembly chamber and other mechanical operations within the complex.

Parliament authorities say they have been advised of all requirements and the cost related to them, and currently they are securing funds to address them.

Source: Xinhua


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