Recent site visits by two government committees at different levels have revealed some serious disparities in the progress being made in the completion of government’s projects under the supervision of different government agencies, raising questions on whether frequent monitoring could be the force behind efficiency in service delivery.
The repeated site visits by Tharaka Nithi County Development Implementation Coordination Committee (CDICC) and last week’s visit by its counterpart at the regional level has classified some projects as a success while others have been a disappointment.
The Eastern Region Development Implementation Coordination Committee (RDICC) on a visit to Chuka University was impressed by the tremendous levels that national government projects have been implemented.
The committee hailed the Vice-Chancellor of Chuka University Prof. Erastus Njoka for efficient management of government resources that has seen the commendable progress of mega projects in the Institution.
“Other institutions in the nation should borrow a leaf from this University’s Vice Chancellor to ensure efficient utilization of government funds for development and give value for money that touches on millions of wananchi that will benefit from their establishments,” said the Eastern (RDICC) chairman who is the Regional Commissioner (RC), Isaiah Nakoru.
Addressing reporters shortly after a RDICC meeting held in Chuka University last week, the Regional Commissioner disclosed that the national government has commissioned projects worth Sh. 20 billion in Tharaka Nithi county and hence the need for the committee to closely monitor their progress.
“In accordance with President Executive Order No. I of 2019 it is the responsibility of the RDICC to make site visits on national government projects and see to it that Mwananchi gets value for money put into development projects,” said Nakoru.
He said the government has invested huge sums of money in roads and water projects as a way of opening rural areas and ensure services are delivered to the people all the way to the grassroots and the site visits is also a way of awakening the people on government projects in their areas.
The Regional Commissioner further disclosed that it has come to the attention of the RDICC that some contractors are way behind schedule and the committee intends to meet them all to explain why stern action should not be taken against them for public interest.
Other successful projects in Tharaka Nithi County are the Muringa_- Banana water project, the Chuka Level Five Hospital theatre and the Digital Learning Programme in Maara-Sub-county where Iruma Primary School testified to the benefits that have come with the programme.
A site visit report on the Digital Literacy Programme (DLP) presented by the Deputy Director in the President’s Delivery Unit who is the Secretary to the CDICC, Ms. Loice Shuma disclosed that the programme has turned out to be a blessing to Iruma Primary school in Maara Sub-county.
According to Ms. Shuma DLP has been received with enthusiasm in Iruma Primary School with truancy declining as both pupils and teachers long to learn how to use the tablets.
She said the enthusiastic head teacher of the school said the Digital Learning Programme has been a big success in that many pupils no longer imagine missing going into the computer lab.
Ms. Opwora noted that the Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA) that the contracts for the upgrading of two roads that have been a pain in the neck to the CDICC have been given to competent contractors.
The project dubbed ‘upgrading to bitumen standards and maintenance of access road to Chuka University that kicked off in June 2017 was only 25.41 per cent complete by July 23, 2019.
Briefing the CDICC,the KeRRA Regional Deputy Director, Eng. Peter Mwangi Wachai disclosed that lack of approved programme of works and personnel, erratic payment of salaries and shortage of fuel at site were the major contractual issues affecting progress of the project.
The issue of some projects making faster and better progress than others left the RDICC wondering whether it is supervision of the contractors on the ground that could be a problem. Whereas, mega projects in Chuka University that are supervised by the University Vice Chancellor himself are doing extremely well the road access to the same institution that is under the supervision of KeRRA is way behind schedule.
By David Mutwiri