About 166 registered public primary schools in West Pokot County are yet to receive free lap tops under the digital literacy programme.
Edward Wangamati, County project coordinator in the education ministry fingered power blackouts, faulty solar system, theft cases and teachers lacking basic knowledge on how to handle the devices as the main challenges facing the programme.
Reporting to the county development implementation coordination committee (CDICC) meeting on Thursday in Kapenguria presided over by County Commissioner Apollo Okello, Mr.Wangamati said 19,495 devices have been issued to pupils in 332 public schools out of a total 498 schools.
He said the process of installing the remaining gadgets is in progress and clarified that the number of schools missing might be higher as some of the schools were not in the list when the project started given that by then they were not registered.
“The ministry is in the process of making sure that all primary schools including those registered later are supplied with the devices. The implementation stage is currently at 66.6%,” he said.
Patrick Pokoto, the in – charge of Rural Electrification Authority (REA) said 267 primary schools are connected to electricity while 345 schools have solar power.
The County Commissioner instructed REA office to liaise with the offices of ICT and education to ensure that all faulty solar panels are repaired, reiterating the government’s objective was to ensure that all learners get the working devices.
Mr. Okello further issued a stern warning to the local leaders and politicians to stop inciting the public on some projects being carried out by the national government saying action will be taken against them if found culpable.
He cited the recent incident where some youth blocked workers from Rift Valley Water Services Board from carrying out their work on the Kapenguria and Makutano sewerage system.
“I will not allow such to prevail. All government projects should go on as stipulated and I call on all leaders in the area to support any project being carried out in the area,” said the commissioner.
Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA), North Rift Director Vincent Ahono said the national government has allocated millions of shillings in maintenances of various roads in the county.
Ahono said Sh 76.1 million has been allocated to Chesogon – Lomut 25kms road, where 84% of the work is completed and the contractor is expected to complete the work soon.
He added that a box culvert at Marich Pass has been allocated Sh 32.5 million and 35% of the work done while Lomut – Sigor – Marich Pass road was given Sh 73.8 million.
On the Alale – Kauriong 34kms road in Pokot North Sub County, he said Sh 19.3 million has been allocated for the road.
The Makutano – Kacheliba – Konyao 80kms road has been allocated Sh 3 billion, where about 9.3 kms about 10% of the work has been completed and the contractor paid Sh 450 million.
Committee members were told that slow funding to various projects in the county by the national treasury had slowed down most work, saying this affects time frame and at the same time increases the cost of the projects.
The committee called on the treasury to ensure that funds are availed to the contractors on time to avoid any delay and labour unrest from the employees.
By John Saina