Over 8000 desks and 5000 lockers with chairs have been prepared by artisans and delivered to schools in Kilifi County.
The government initiated Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP) which awarded contracts to artisans at village levels to cushion them against the effects of Covid-19 and at the same time enhance social distancing to children in both primary and secondary schools.
Kilifi County is set to receive 6650 lockers with chairs for secondary schools and 9450 desks for primary schools according to data from the county education office.
Area County Commissioner Kutswa Olaka who has been visiting various artisans expressed concern at the slow progress of the initiative that he regretted was being caused by various challenges and urged sub county supervisory committees for lockers and desks to assist the artisans in sourcing for funds to complete the works immediately.
“The government gives contracts to those who have the capacity to do projects before they are paid. In this case not all artisans have the financial capacity to prepare the lockers and desks at the local levels hence should be assisted financially by the local leaders to complete their work,” Olaka said.
He directed artisans who have challenges in obtaining the recommended Cyprus timber but had alternative timber to write to respective sub county supervisory committees to present their requests to the headquarters for consideration.
Olaka was responding to artisans from mainly Ganze, Magarini and Kaloleni sub counties who said they had a big challenge procuring the required timber as it was only available in Mombasa and requested to be allowed to use available timber.
“I do not have adequate funds to travel to Dosh company in Mombasa to purchase the square tubes and Cyprus timber needed for the work but I have mshilingi (aborea) timber in my farm which am pleading to use ,“ said Cosmas Foleni, an artisan in Baolala- Ganze sub county.
Another artisan in Kaloleni sub county Mr. Charo Ngumbao who completed 70 desks at his workshop that the CC commended said he did not have the capacity to prepare the remaining 70 per the contract that demand he construct 140 desks.
“By awarding us contracts, the government did us a favour and we really appreciate. However we do not have financial capital for the work. It is our request that we be given part payment for the work to be completed,” he appealed.
By Harrison Yeri