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Projects stalled due to financial glitches riddle Mt Kenya region

Thursday June 25 2020
mtkenya

A bulldozer excavates a section of the upcoming Mau Mau road at Ihururu area in Nyeri county on June 22, 2020. Numerous infrastructural projects in Mt Kenya region, some launched as far back as 2013, have either stalled or are incomplete. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By NATION TEAM

They were launched in pomp and colour by President Kenyatta’s Jubilee administration amidst promises of completing them on time.

But numerous infrastructural projects in Mt Kenya region, some launched as far back as 2013,  remain incomplete with most affected being dams for irrigation, roads, learning institutions and courts, among others.

Key among incomplete projects in Meru are several roads as well as Kinoru Stadium with contractors citing fund delays.

Among the stalled roads include Cocacola-Kithaku-Katheri-Kariene-Giaki, Nkubu-Uruku-Kithirune, St Ann-Kagaene-Miomponi, Mikinduri-Kunati and Kanyakine-Mbeti-Mitunguu which were launched four years ago.

Also stalled is Mariene University College which was mooted in 2015.

SH18BN PROJECTS

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In March last year, Interior CS Fred Matiang’i said Sh18.9 billion projects by the national government in Meru County were incomplete with some having stalled for several years.

A week ago, Governor Kiraitu Murungi led elected leaders in a meeting with Dr Matiang’i over 131 stalled government projects.

In Nyeri and Murang’a counties, the expansion of Kenol-Marua section of the Northern Corridor into a dual carriageway is yet to commence with delays spanning over one year.

The commencement of the roadworks has been postponed for over a year, casting doubts on the delivery of a project touted to be part of President Kenyatta’s legacy.

Transport CS James Macharia had announced that the project would start in February, saying the delay was occasioned by an intense tendering process.

NEVER STARTED

And in Tharaka-Nithi County, according to a report seen by the Nation, the 32km Kaare-Magutuni-Kathwana Road in Maara Constituency launched by Deputy President William Ruto on September 17, 2018, never started yet is expected to be completed on March 7, 2021.

The contractor, NGM Company Ltd, has already received sh80 million out of the total Sh1.1 billion.

In Embu, the Sh1 billion Piai-Makima Road project in Mbeere South Constituency, has stalled.

It was started five years ago but stopped after only kilometres were tarmacked.

The project was meant to open up the expansive arid constituency for the betterment of the residents who have been suffering for decades.

The 31-kilometer Chuka-Kaanwa-Kareni road in Chuka/Igambang’ombe Constituency launched on May 10, 2015 has been tarmacked for only six kilometres.

The contractor, Westbuild General Contractors Ltd, has already received Sh288.7 million out of the total Sh537.2 million according to the report.

In Tharaka Constituency, the 36-kilometer Gatunga-Marimanti-Ciakariga road that was launched on July 27, 2016 was expected to be complete on January 27, 2019 but only 15.62 kilometres have been tarmacked.

Sh756.1 million, out of the total Sh1.7 billion, has already been paid out for the road assigned to Westbuild General Contractors Ltd and subcontracted to Super Mega Construction Ltd.

RE-ASSIGNED

In Maara Constituency, the 23-kilometer Chogoria-Weru road assigned to Don Woods Contractors was launched on November 22, 2016 and later re-assigned to China Jiangxi International Ltd.

The contractor has already been paid Sh97.8 million out of Sh978.6 million for the work that was scheduled to be complete on November 28, 2018. But only 2.1 kilometres have been done.

According to the report dated March 31, 2020, most of the contractors lack capacity to undertake the work and the only solution is to either revoke the contracts or sub-contract them.

Water Projects

Ruungu and Manyanga water irrigation projects in Tharaka and Chuka/Igambangombe constituencies have also stalled.

In Embu County, the Sh1billion Piai-Makima road project in Mbeere South Constituency has stalled.

It was started five years ago but halted after only five kilometres were tarmacked.

The project was meant to open up the expansive arid constituency whose residents have been suffering for decades.

Mbeere South MP Geoffrey King’ang’i is a worried leader.

He narrated how he has been trying to have the project completed in vain.

"My people continue suffering because this road is in a deplorable condition and the government is doing nothing to have it done," he said.

The MP noted that a contractor who was awarded the tender to tarmac the road pulled out in unclear circumstances.

"For how long will my people continue suffering?" he asked.


Reported by Alex Njeru, George Munene, Nicholas Komu and David Muchui

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