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Counties, engineers to partner in spurring infrastructural development

County governments have been asked to partner with registered consulting engineers to come up with integrated plans to spur infrastructural development in the country.

The Association of Consulting Engineers of Kenya (ACEK) Chairman Eng. Patrick Wambulwa said the partnership will build capacity for the devolved units to develop infrastructure conscious County Integrated Development Plans (CIDP’s) to achieve set targets.

Wambulwa said infrastructure was key for social development adding that county governments had failed to realize set goals because their CIDP’s are developed without the input of the professionals.

As a result, he said most of the projects are not subjected to the steps outlined in the Public Investment Management Guidelines.

“The treasury developed the guidelines to guide in the identification and justification of public investments. Unfortunately these guidelines are not being followed,” he said.

He faulted the devolved units for failing to identify the right projects, a scenario which has seen public resources channeled into investments that have no impact on the locals.

Speaking in Kisumu during the association’s annual national conference, Wambulwa said project financing remained the biggest impediment to infrastructure development in the country, calling for strict adherence to the public investment management guidelines to prioritize projects and safeguard public resources.

Wambulwa further asked county governments to employ professional registered engineers to oversee the implementation of infrastructure projects in the devolved units.

Some developers, he said, were engaging quacks which is to blame for the collapse of buildings in some parts of the country.

The conference which has brought together engineers, surveyors, architects, contractors, national and county government officials is expected to come up with recommendations to address the gaps in infrastructure development in the country.

Wambulwa said the theme of the conference-rethinking and reshaping infrastructure development priorities in Africa was arrived at to help come up with innovations to address the existing gaps.

“We chose this theme because if we continue doing things the traditional way we are not going to achieve our development targets,” he said.

The deliberations, he added, will border on water supply, sewerage, urban planning, roads infrastructure, energy, environment among others.

The consulting engineers, he added, were on the forefront to help the government achieve the big four agenda.

“If you look at the big four pillars they all revolve around engineers. Talking about health for example you need buildings and equipment where engineers are actively involved,” he said.

By Chris Mahandara

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