A section of MPs from northern Kenya have raised concerns over delayed implementation of the Sh10 billion World Bank funded project meant to mitigate the impact of environmental degradation on the refugee host communities with fears that the money could have been misappropriated.
The Kenya Development Response to Displacement Impact Project (KDRDIP) was signed between the Kenyan government and World Bank in May last year and was meant to benefit Turkana, Wajir and Garissa counties.
The project was meant to start within two months but two years down the line the local community is yet to feel the effects of the funding, according to Fafi MP Abdikarim Osman and his Ijara colleague Sofia Abdi.
They also claimed that the government has not been keen on involving the local leadership.
"We have persevered being Kenyans for many years and to add salt to injury, the little we have been given by the World Bank is nowhere to be seen or felt. KDRDIP has been incurring expenses in boardroom meetings and seminars and none of the projects has taken place to this date," Mr Osman said.
The two MPs are now appealing to President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene so that the local community can benefit, saying that efforts to seek audience with Head of Civil Service Joseph Kinyua, the chairman of the National Project Implementation Unit (NPIU), have not been successful.
The multi-billion five-year project was meant to ensure access to basic social services, expand economic activities within the region and address environmental challenges caused by the refugees among others.
Mr Osman further accused Mr Kinyua of locking out the local community from the project planning, implementation and monitoring of KDRDIP "which is a breach of the very reasons it was mooted for."
"We can’t access Mr Kinyua because he does not pick our calls or respond to our text messages. The greatest irony is that there is no single local in the implementation unit for the KDRDIP despite the target beneficiaries being solely the refugee host communities," he said.
The presence of the refugees in the region has impacted negatively on the environment and worsened the poverty levels leading to increased demand for resources like clean water, roads, hospitals, schools, pasture and firewood among others.
Turkana West Constituency, which hosts Kakuma refugee camp was allocated Sh3.2 billion, Wajir South Constituency Sh2 billion, Dadaab Constituency Sh1.6 billion, Fafi Sh1.5 billion with Sh1.1 billion being allocated to Lagdera Constituency.
"The disbursement of the funds would have changed the lives of the locals. You may not know but Fafi Constituency has no single road that is tarmacked," Mr Osman said.
Last week, Devolution and Northern Kenya Development Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa launched the programme in Turkana West Constituency.