Sh200 million water project on verge of collapse due to petty politics
A Sh200 million water project in Nyeri County meant to benefit over 80,000 residents is on the verge of collapse following political squabbles between politicians from Mathira and Tetu districts.
The project funded by the national government in conjunction with Mathira CDF had already commenced with the laying of pipes from Gura River in Othaya but trouble began after a group of youths led by an MCA in Tetu destroyed the pipes saying that they would not benefit from the project.
Addressing the press, the leaders from Mathira led by Kirimukuyu MCA Kibira Ngunyi and CDF officials accused their counterparts from Tetu of sabotaging the project yet residents from two wards in the region have had no clean water since independence.
The leaders urged area county commissioner and Governor Nderitu Gachagua to intervene, saying it is wrong for a section of residents to deny others services provided by the national government due to petty politics that can easily degenerate into inter-district rivalry.
Since independence residents of Kirimukyu and Konyu locations have been depending on untreated water from streams.
This comes after more than Sh160 million was said to have been lost in a racket involving the irregular procurement of 12,000 litre water tanks for institutions and 17,000 water pipes in Embu County.
According to the County Executive Committee Member in charge of Lands, Water, Environment and Natural resources Josephat Kithumbu, records indicated that 602 public institutions including schools, polytechnics and health centres had been supplied with water tanks worth Sh10 million, but there was no evidence on the ground that the tanks were delivered.
The team was tasked with checking the quality of the tanks and acceptance letters from heads of institutions earmarked for supply of tanks or delivery notes from the supplier.
The CEC member also cast doubts on assertions that every public institution in Embu County had received a 12,000 litre water tank.
In his statement, he added that the Water Chief Officer Stephen Kinyua had disappeared from office for the last one week without leave of absence from duty when investigations into the project commenced.
“I wonder why the beneficiary list for the water tanks was changed to include market centres and towns, yet there was nobody to receive the tanks on behalf of the urban centres,” said Kithumbu.
In addition, Kithumbu claimed he was transferred from the water docket to Education in December 2014 when the project was almost starting and reinstated in September 2015 after money for the project was consumed.