Communities in Migori County have been told to jealously guard donor projects initiated for them and ensure their sustainability after the withdrawal of the donors.
At the same time, area County Commissioner Michael Mwangi Meru announced the government’s support to allow such projects to run for longtime for the sake of posterity
In a statement to KNA, Mr. Meru encouraged all beneficiaries of government and donor programmes and projects to always display serious commitment of sustaining those projects already in place in order to win the confidence of willing financiers in future,
His advice followed a growing concern that many of the projects started in the area through the government partnership with donors had either collapsed or performing dismally after their management were handed over to the beneficiaries.
Top on the list is the Sh1.4 billion programme that was initiated and supported by International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in 2010.
The multi-million programme was implemented in former six districts of Homa Bay, Rachuonyo, Migori, Nyamira, Suba and Kuria West and its main components were in Water, Health, Agriculture and Social matters.
However to date, the programme’s intention that was able to address issues regarding perennial water shortages, health problems, decreased food production and increased literacy among adult persons is nowhere to be seen after all the projects associated with it died in these regions.
The programme aimed at alleviating poverty among the people in this regions by improving water supply, health services and raise food production among the residents in a collaboration between the state and the donor.
A spot-check by KNA especially on the many water projects that the programme initiated in Migori and Kuria West regions revealed that all the boreholes drilled and water springs protected were not functioning and abandoned by the benefiting communities after their management failed because of financial problems or wrangling among the project committee members
Currently, Migori as a county is enjoying numerous multi-million programmes and projects that are being funded by donors such as Rotary club of Suna Migori, World Vision, USAID and many others that intends to promote the lives of the local population.
Fears are however rife that those projects may also land the same fate as the previous ones that went aground because of neglect by the beneficiaries.
For instance, the Rotary Club of Suna Migori has implemented many water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) projects in local schools where it has provided water tanks, sunk bore holes, built modern latrines and supplied water from Lake Victoria to local communities at a huge cost.
The club’s leadership however doubt whether all these will be sustained by the benefiting schools and communities following the casual way the projects are being managed after being handed over.
By George Agimba