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Megwara dam project halted over poor workmanship

The government has stopped the construction works at the Sh36 million dam project in Megwara area in Transmara West over alleged poor workmanship.

Narok County Commissioner George Natembeya said they have decided to halt the project after it emerged that the contractor who was awarded the tender by Rift Valley Water Services Board did shoddy and substandard work.

Speaking after leading a tour of County Development Coordination and Implementation Committee of government projects in the Transmara East and Transmara West sub counties Friday, Natembeya said that the project would not continue until the water officials held meeting with the relevant stakeholders to ensure there is proper supervision of the project.

“We have been getting assurance from these officials that the project is progressing well but unfortunately, the work done on the project is of very low standards,” said Natembeya.

The area residents blamed the board of failing to involve the locals and project committee in the putting of the project and wondered why the board was in a hurry to end the dam project.

The residents said they were not benefiting from the project. One resident, Daudi Ngeiwa who donated eight acres of his land for the dam complained that he was forced to get his water for domestic use from afar yet the project sits on part of his land.

Ngeiywa said that they have raised several complaints against the construction of the dam to the relevant authorities but they were being silenced by those concerned.

“If we don’t address the issue of this dam, I promise you it would be just like Solai dam tragedy in Nakuru that killed many people. Why wait until disaster strikes and now we have time to rectify the mess?” wondered Ngeywa.

“We cannot waste the government’s resources and time to play monkey business in a project that is meant to assist thousands of Kenyans. There was an agreement to supply water to Daudi ole Ngeiywa who donated 8 acres piece of land for the project but they have not done that,” Natembeya said.

The County Commissioner doubted the viability of the water pumps put up in the project and construction of water tanks without supervision by structural engineers, saying if it is not properly looked into, it would be a disaster in waiting.

Natembeya added that they would launch investigations to know if the funds meant for the project had been put to good use.

“If we will find out that the funds meant for this project have been misused, then we will arrest those behind it because Kenyans want to feel the value of their tax money,” he said.

He urged the locals to help the government in monitoring and supervising the projects by playing oversight roles so that those mandated to undertake projects work in accordance with the law.

“Our people should know the projects being done by the government and the cost and help monitor them. By doing this, it would reduce the cases where some few individuals want to fleece the government without completing the projects,” said Natembeya.

During the tour, the team also visited various roads under construction by the government in the area and the Kilgoris Sub county Hospital where the government has installed new machines to help serve wananchi better.

At the hospital, the team visited three minors aged 11, 13 and 15 years who were nursing wounds at Kilgoris level 4 hospital in Narok after a person known to them defiled them in turns as they slept in one house and then fled.
A clinician at Kilgoris hospital Lillian Olotua who is attending to the two sisters and a friend from Trans Mara East said she was examining them and giving them the necessary medical and social- psychological care they needed and promised to present a medical report as soon as legal action is taken against the culprit who was on the run.
Natembeya who commended the hospital staff for the excellent service at the facility promised to address staff and power shortages and completion of satellite centres.
By Mabel Keya –Shikuku

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