NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 28-The contractor who installed the surveillance system and security installations in Nairobi said not to be working, are now blaming County contractors for damaging fiber optics required to transmit information.
According to Auditor’s report for year ended June 30, 2017, the Sh437 million cameras that were installed in key strategic places such as market places, bus parks, hotel entrances and highways are not working.
The report indicates that the cameras stopped working due to poor maintenance.
A Chinese Company Nanjis LES Information Technology Limited was contracted in 2012 to install CCTV cameras, traffic and pedestrian lights so as to enhance security in the City as well as monitor traffic.
The County’s watchdog committee revealed that 26 out of 42 CCTVs installed in major roads such as Moi Avenue, Uhuru Highway, Kenyatta Highway and Tom Mboya are functional.
The Committee said it was unfair that millions of taxpayer’s money was used on a dysfunctional project and at the same time putting the security of city residents at risk because of no monitoring.
“It’s unfortunate that we have lost lives in the city despite having spent millions on monitoring cameras which have never captured even a thief,” said the Committee Chair Wilfred Odalo.
The members cited the recent instance where a cargo that had an IED explosive exploded at Kenya Cinema leaving one injured, saying that such an incident should have been captured by the cameras.
“These cameras were to assist us in such instances, but now even the owner of the cargo couldn’t be captured by the cameras despite it happening at the CBD at the glare of these cameras,” said Moses Ogeto a member of the committee.
Appearing before the County’s Public Accounts Committee on Thursday, the Company’s Manager Michael LU said by the time they handed over the company to the Ministry of Interior in 2014, all the cameras were functional hence it’s not their fault that they are not working now.
“We handed over a fully functional system, the county contractors have damaged the fiber optic while doing some works where the cables are installed and failed to repair them,” said Michael.
He said that even now the systems are working only that the transmission is lacking due to damaged fiber which can be functional if repaired.
The Committee questioned who then is responsible for repairing the system in case of a breakdown.
Engineer Wachira Gitau from the Ministry of Transport Metropolitan department said the County should bear the responsibility of repairing the fiber optic because their contractors are the ones who damaged the fiber optic while doing some works where the cables are installed.
“In the contract we did not indicate who is supposed to maintain the system, but it’s obvious that those who damaged the cables should bear the cost,” said Gitau.