The announcement came days after Shi Hongbing, managing director of China Civil Engineering Construction Corp., which is building more than 100 road, bridges, railway and airport projects in Nigeria was concerned that the country’s weak infrastructure and health system put it under a heavy strain during the fight against Ebola.
The World Bank noted in an Oct. 7 report that in Liberia, “the domestic transport sector has been severely affected by the crisis. The cost of transporting goods has also seen increases, in some cases by 50%, partly reflecting the more difficult road conditions during the rainy season.
The conditions have posed challenged for the U.S. military in managing delivery of construction materials to project sites.
According to Maj. Gen. Darryl Williams, the head of U.S. Army Africa, a large percentage of the 66,000-mile road network in Liberia is impassable, forcing the US team to use aircraft to drop construction materials at Ebola treatment unit sites.
To circumvent the challenge of the poor road network, some construction materials are being floated on barges down the West Africa coast from Dakar in neighboring Senegal.
The US is bringing in tents, barrier fencing and plastic sheeting and the team has procured 7800 cubic yards of gravel in Liberia as the ETUs construction is expanded.
Turkish contractor Summa says ship quarantines have delayed materials to its projects in Equatorial Guinea, which is unaffected by the crisis.
"There are some basic precautions at customs (like handheld temperature scanners for people at the airport), other than that life in the city and at our construction sites are quite as usual, says Summa project manager Alperen Kibar. "We encourage personnel and workers to stay at site boundaries rather than spending time at crowded places at the city."
But Zimi Meka, CEO of Australian engineer Ausenco, told industry CEOs in New York on Oct. 15 that the outbreak could generate a multimillion-dollar revenue impact for the firm because of project delays and personnel restrictions.
Meanwhle, in the U.S., the Water Environment Federation says it is in consultation with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and other water and public health organizations to address Ebola issues in wastewater handling and treatment processes.
The Alexandria, Va., industry group says that in an Oct. 16 conference call, a CDC spokeman said that the agency has prepared "interim guidance" on Ebola-affected wastewater handling for workers who perform sewer maintenance, construction workers who repair or replace live sewers,
plumbers and workers who clean portable toilets.
CDC said guidance could be released as soon as late October.