Nyahururu, Thursday, January 25, 2018 KNA
John Munyeki Mwangi goes about his bodaboda business to earn something that he hopes to save to continue schooling, thanks to his uncle who let him use his motorcycle for the activities.
He is torn between seeking a place in the nearby Tetu secondary school in Laikipia County, so as to re-sit his forth form exams or hope and pray that a Technical and Vocational Institution, a stone throw away will be completed on time for him to undertake an electrical course.
“I attained a D+ in last year’s KCSE and hoped to get a better grade to join university but it seems luck was not on my side.
“I may not afford other tertiary institutions far from my home, this (Muhotetu Technical and Vocational Training Institute) was my hope but its construction has stalled,” noted the soft spoken Munyeki.
Munyeki, like most youth in Laikipia West Constituency and in particular Kabage village, are unable to enjoy the services of the institution unlike their peers in Laikipia North and East Constituencies.
“The construction began in 2016 and up to date it has stalled. We are guilty of holding these people from progressing as it was a one year’s contract,” confesses Jeremy Miriti, the chair of the institution’s technical committee.
Miriti says only Shs16.1 million out of the allocated Shs55 million had been disbursed for the project with more expected to trickle in to enable the contractor clear the work.
“The institution will be equipped to a tune of Shs300 million. We commit to follow the project to completion and if we do not, we deserve to be in jail,” Miriti had said during a recent tour to the institution.
The residents accuse former leaders of embezzling funds meant for the construction of the institution, with tracks said to be ferrying away construction material from the site, soon after delivery.
“The contractor offloaded materials at the site only to take them away in other trucks at night. Efforts to dig into the affairs, in the past were met by threats of being sacked,” notes a worker accusing the contractor of employing outsiders whereas most youths in the area remained jobless.
The institution that stands on a swampy stretch in the interior parts of the constituency, will offer, Mechanical, Civil, Electrical and carpentry, masonry and tailoring among other courses.
“The value of this project cannot be underestimated. Jobs, electricity, water and security as well as expanded businesses will come with the opening of this institution.
“Failing to complete this project is as good as standing in the way of our president’s dream. The National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) will pump in Shs10 million as it can only be completed if we join hands,” notes area MP Patrick Mariru.
“Our dream of industrializing this nation can only be achieved if our people acquired these technical skills.” Mariru added.
“The contractor has promised to complete the institution by May this year. Completion and registration of this institution will boost technical education that is needed for self-reliance among our youths.
“My government is issuing Shs8, 000 as bursaries to encourage uptake of vocational courses and already about 2, 000 students joining the institutions in Laikipia East and North Constituency are set to benefit,” noted governor Mureithi Ndiritu.
Mureithi promised to drill a high density borehole at the institution to supply water to the surrounding community.