ABC of the controversy over cost overruns in works in Providencia

ABC of the controversy over cost overruns in works in Providencia

Less than three months after the arrival of Hurricane Iota, the largest to hit Colombian territory and which left thousands of people without a roof over their heads, still The works that the Government was advancing and promised to recover the lives of the islanders have not been completed.

(Read: Response of former Duke officials to Petro for works in Providencia).

During a visit to the archipelago, President Gustavo Petro warned not only of the delays, but also the costs of the houses that on average reached $600 million for a space of 70 m2.“It’s almost $10 million per mt2. Why such an amazing value? How can a concrete house with zinc tiles, something with a steel structure, be worth $600 million in Providencia?”, President Petro said in his speech.

The head of state assured that the builders gave that price for high transportation costs for steel, concrete and cement from Cartagena to Providencia, despite the fact that part of that cost was assumed by the National Navy.

There is no hospital, there is not enough food, there is nothing but economic distress; This is a classic example of constructions made from the outside, without considering the culture, or the strength of the community itself, without consulting the community.”, indicated the president.

To the above, Petro also pointed out that no work has been done with the community for its reconstruction and the architecture of the interior has been imposed, which increased prices. “A reconstruction cannot be done thinking about concrete and not about human beings. The first thing that should have been rebuilt was, precisely, the hospital”, he stated.

And this situation is not only alerted by the Government, the Attorney General’s Office (according to information revealed by El Tiempo), carried out a follow-up report on the works in which it detailed that the houses already delivered show structural and planning damage.

In the houses built in steel, the railings and windows had quality problems, which according to the report have been solved with the change of the defective elements. During the month of August and September 2022, visits will be made to attend to these complaints”, says the report.

In this regard, Attorney Margarita Cabello assured this Monday that as of July 31, of the 1,836 homes that had to be repaired and built 69 are still missing.
Regarding the hospital, Carolina Corcho, Minister of Health, also added that there is a “campaign hospital” on the island of Providencia.

(Also: Failures found by the Attorney General’s Office in the reconstruction of Providencia).

Right now in Providencia we have a field hospital. Where there is a new tragedy, the hospital has the greatest vulnerability”, he added.

However, the attorney launched a voice of encouragement in this regard. “The hiring is ready, the land is ready, the temporary hospital has already been repaired,” she said. In the case of San Andrés, the control entity pointed out in its document that “there is no evidence of speed in the process of repairing homes on the island, and the government does not have the financial closure necessary to carry out the intervention of all of the the houses”.

Paula Galeano Balaguera

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