The Devolution Cabinet Secretary (CS), Eugene Wamalwa has reprimanded government officials who impose projects on beneficiaries through questionable proposals.
Speaking in Garissa town on Tuesday during the launch of a project funded by the World Bank and implemented by Kenya Development Response to Displacement Impact Project (KDRDIP), Wamalwa said the community should the ones to prioritise their own projects.
The CS condemned the habit by some government officials who arm-twist the community to accept projects they have not initiated for their own selfish gains.
“We are aware of these arm-twisting tactics by a few government officials. I want to caution them to keep off community projects and allow residents decide on what projects are best for them and in what priority they should be implemented,” Wamalwa said.
“Government officials should supervise and ensure that all the procedures are followed and implemented in accordance with laid down guidelines instead of taking advantage of the low literacy levels to influence the projects for their personal gains,” he added.
Wamalwa said the committees formed by the community will be tasked to identify the projects that mainly revolve around health, schools and food security.
The Sh.10 billion project is being implemented in three counties of Garissa (Sh.4.2 billion), Wajir (Sh.2 billion) and Turkana (Sh3.1 billion).
In Garissa the sub-counties of Fafi, Dadaab and Lagdera will each receive (Sh.1.5b), (Sh1.6b) and (Sh.1.1b) respectively and will be implemented over the next five years.
The Garissa Governor, Ali Korane called for proper utilisation of the funds saying if well spent the money will transform the lives of the targeted population.
The Lagdera MP, Mohammed Hire said the money should be channeled to projects as opposed to recurrent expenditure where communities fight over jobs.
“This will ensure that the projects benefit more people rather than a few individuals being placed on the payroll,” Hire said.
The Development Response to Displacement Impacts Project (DRDIP) in the Horn of Africa is to support the host communities in overcoming the shocks and impacts of refugee presence and improve their resilience by addressing the negative environmental and economic impacts which have exacerbated poverty levels of the host communities for a very long time.
The DRDIP is a regional project being implemented in Uganda, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya to address the regional spillover effects of conflicts and forced displacements in the Horn of Africa.
Over the last 28 years communities around Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps within the Counties of Garissa, Wajir and Turkana have hosted the bulk of the refugees by providing a safe haven.
By Jacob Songok