Friday, April 3, 2020
Home > Agriculture > Wario want the stalled shs. 7 billion gravity canal project in Bura investigated

Wario want the stalled shs. 7 billion gravity canal project in Bura investigated

The   Bura  MP, Ali  Wario  has  urged government  investigative  agencies to move in and investigate the now stalled shs. 7 billion 26 km gravity  canal project for Bura irrigation scheme.

The  project  that  was conceived in 2013 and was supposed to take less than 2 years to be completed was to connect  the main  irrigation canals from Korakora canal gravity intake with Nanigi main canal and feed farms in Bura through gravity.

This  was supposed to save National Irrigation Board (NIB) millions of shillings that it incurs to pump water using diesel generator from river Tana into the canals.

Addressing the press after touring the stalled project in Dirime area, an infuriated Wario termed the project as a ‘cash cow for NIB officials’.

“I  have  information  that  NIB officials want to re-award the contract without following the due process to one of the sub-contractors  so  that they can swindle the money that has been allocated to the project next financial year,” Wario said.

The  MP said according to records already shs. 2 billion had been paid to the contractor between 2013 and 2017 before he (contractor) abandoned the site 2 years ago.

“Shs. 2 billion is not ordinary change. This is huge amount of money that could been felt on the ground. But as we speak  there  is  nothing on the ground to reflect this kind of money that has been paid to the contractor,” Wario said.

When  the  press  toured the two sites that are less than 2 kms apart, abandoned machineries and containers is what we  were  met with. Camp sites and abandoned buildings were being consumed by the wild ‘mathenge’ tree.

The daytime watchman, Mohamed Balaga said the contractor left the site just before the last general election. There are  two other night guards manning the sites.

“The  3 of us have not been paid our salaries since then. we have been receiving phone calls with empty promises and  latest  was that we were to be paid before the end or Ramadhan. however nothing has come out of it,” Balaga said.

“To  be honest Kenyans are taken for a ride by a few greedy public servants whose only motive is to use such projects to  swindle public funds. It is my appeal to the offices charged with fraud investigation to get to the bottom of this  matter.

We  cannot  allow shs. 2 billion to just disappear just like that. Somebody must be held responsible,” Wario said.

“The  government intention in this project was good. It was a life changing project to the residents of Bura who are now  languishing in poverty,” he added.

He  blamed NIB officials  for  the stalled  projects,  noting that he had personally  tried  to  inquire  on  the status of the  project but he was instead being taken round by ministry of agriculture and NIB officials who are tasked with overseeing the project.

Efforts  to reach NIB officials overseeing the project did not bear fruits.

The  project  has  since its inception encountered numerous challenges. At  one-point casual labourers working for the contractor demonstrated demanding for wages that had accumulated for over 10 months.

By  Jacob  Songok

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