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Team shocked as most water projects in Marsabit do not have permits

County Development Implementation Coordination Committee (CDICC) in Marsabit learnt with shock that most development projects were being considered and effected by line ministries and department’s headquarters in Nairobi.
Marsabit County Commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo noted that most irrigation and water services projects were not being implemented effectively because they were conceived, designed and executed from the ministry headquarters in Nairobi.
Consequently, 12 irrigation dams were reported completed but levels of use could not be established.
According to records, the projects were not permitted because they do not have water abstraction licenses and the implementers failed to undertake environmental impact assessment studies.
The County Commissioner expressed concern that limited supervision of works that was done from Nairobi without involvement of county based technical officers resulted in poor outcomes.
The committee however noted that the Sh1.82 billion Marsabit water and sewerage project is on course with no major issues reported as all statutory requirements have been acquired.
Northern Water Resources Authority Sub-Regional Manager Mr. Hussien Wario informed the team that an environmental impact assessment (EIA) license from the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) and a permit to extract water have been acquired.
Mr. Wario added that way leaves have also been attained and paid for but the committee called for regular follow up and monitoring of the project.
Regarding the energy last mile connectivity, 55 out of 173 primary schools were yet to be connected to electricity, a situation that has made many pupils lose on the Digital Literacy Programme (DLP).
According to reports by the ICT Authority and the Ministry of Energy, over 60 primary schools that were connected to solar energy currently have no working light bulb due to poor maintenance, vandalism, theft, worn out batteries, and destruction by wind and wild animals.
The County Director of Education Mr. Paul Mwongera was tasked with ensuring that school management committees undertake measures to maintain the solar facilities.
The committee noted that some schools that had benefitted from solar installations have since been connected to the national grid and resolved that the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) ought to move with speed to reclaim the solar packages and install them in schools that were not yet connected with power.
Kitiyo told the meeting that priority would be given to projects and programmes that address the Big4 Agenda namely National Health Insurance Reforms, water and irrigation, managed equipment services in health sector, Digital Literacy Programme and energy under the last mile connectivity.
By Sebastian Miriti

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