Eng. Joel Aita, the Chief Executive Director of Joadah Consult, a company which supervised the construction works of Arua central market in Arua City has come out to allay the fears of vendors about reports of ‘cracks’ emerging on the facility, saying they are artificial cracks.
According to Aita, the artificial cracks were created during construction to allow expansion, especially at the points of joining the different blocks together.
“People have seen one or two things which someone reported as cracks but actually, what happens with big buildings is that they have what we call expansion joints. During the day when the temperature is very hot, the building expands and when it is cold at night, the building contracts, so that movement of the building if you don’t manage it right from design and construction, you find the building will crack. So, to avoid that, we now create artificial cracks (expansion joints),” Aita explained.
“Arua main market has six expansion joints. These expansion joints join the three different buildings which are; Block A, Block B 1 and Block B 2, so those three Blocks are being joined together with expansion joints. Now what somebody is reporting as cracks are part of the six expansion joints,” Aita added.
Aita’s technical explanation followed rumors of the ‘cracks’ circulating on social media, causing fear among vendors who occupied the market early last week.
Nelson Dada, the Arua central market chairman general said: “we are aware of some of the cracks but we don’t know exactly what type of cracks they are, which means they will be identified by the technical people and they are also aware because we have already informed them.”
Dada acknowledged that the continued report of the cracks on social media has caused panic among the vendors.
“Vendors had taken these cracks minor but the continued reports on social media is now causing them a lot of fear. Some vendors have now been forced to believe that the market may collapse if an earthquake occurs and that is why we need urgent explanation from the technical people,” Dada said.
But Eng. Aita advised the vendors to continue with their businesses normally on grounds that the artificial cracks will not cause any problem.
“There is no need to worry about this project, it has been properly constructed and if there are one or two things to be corrected there, the contractor also still has one year left to work on them. Sometimes you find a window was not properly fixed and during this period he has to come and fix it. That is the purpose of defects liability period but basically construction wise, the building has come out with the highest level of quality we wanted and the expansion joints will always be there for such a big project,” Aita said.
“Actually, the contractor painted those expansion joints and that is why the artificial cracks are trying to find their way out. I think we will look at it to see that he opens them up so that you can be able to see them clearly as expansion joints. We can be able to let them know that and do it during this defects liability period,” Aita stated.
The shs34.9bn Arua central market was constructed by Sadeem Al-Kuwait and Dott services under the supervision of Joadah consult.
The market funded by the African Development Bank has over 4, 000 stalls and lockup shops, bulk storage facility, day-care centre, meeting and conference room, CCTV cameras and a public address system.
It also has an installation of solar system to solve the numerous cases of power outages, tarmacked roads around it, solar street lights, parking facility and a value addition facility at Awindiri market.