Work has resumed on the amphitheatre, within the National Arts Council (BASATA) complex, in the Bungoni-Ilala section of Dar es Salaam. The centre‚Äôs Executive Secretary, Ghonche Materego, told the ‚ÄėDaily News‚Äô¬† the work started again earlier this month.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôve been struggling, through our consultants, AQE Associates, to get the contractors, JKT SUMA, to come and continue with the work. They were busy with a project around the Ruvu Area and later-on during the 50-year independence anniversary commemorations, they were kept busy,‚ÄĚ he said.
Materego went on to explain that when the project started they had given the contractors a down payment, with an agreement that after each phase of work, after the Arts Council had received a certificate through their consultants, they would then pay for the work that had been done. To date, he maintains they have no outstanding bills with the contractors.
The work had started in 2007, with the expectation of it being finished by October 2010. Then it was planned to be a completely opened roof structure. But according to Materego, they soon realized that it would not be fair to themselves or the users, if they have an open-air theatre, knowing that Dar es Salaam is very hot.
This would be unsuitable because, apart from the heat, when it rained, the building would not be able to be used. It was decided that the best way to get out of this predicament, was to put a roof on the structure. The government approved, however, this brought another unavoidably obstacle to the forefront, which also had an effect on the failure for the project to be finished by October 2010.
‚ÄúThe architects had to modify the drawings and it was only when they were ready that the work resumed. Right now you can see that the structure is now roofed and gives the feeling of being inside a mini indoor stadium, due to the height of the roof,‚ÄĚ he added.This has brought them unto another dimension, in that they have to relook at how they are going to put-up the lights for the structure and the technical lights for performances.
BASATA has already approached the experts, who did this on the Bagamoyo Institute of Arts (TaSuBa) and the theatre at the National Museum and House of Culture in the City Centre. These specialists have been called and have assessed the structure and have presented a plan, which caters for regular and technical lighting, together with sound within it. BASATA is waiting for the money to do this with.
The hope is that these funds will be provided when the current finishing work, which includes painting, seating arrangements and a wooden stage built, is over.
By IMAN MANI, Tanzania Daily News