NAIROBI, Kenya, March 5- Water Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui now says that the Arror and Kimwarer dams which are faced by corruption allegations are not under his docket.
The CS who was tasked to explain the status of the dams in the country by the National Assembly Environment committee, said the country has 57 dam projects and only 22 are under his ministry.
“There are certain projects that have been mentioned in the media including Kimwarer and Arror Dams. I want to state and inform this committee that those two dams are not under the Ministry of Water and are being implemented by other agencies and specifically by the Ministry of East Africa and Regional development; Itare is under my ministry but it is facing contractual challenges which we are working on,” Chelugui said.
He further called on MP Kareke Mbiuki (Maara)-led committee to intervene and ensure that the construction of all dams is put under Water and Sanitation Ministry for easier management.
“The implementation of dam projects is scattered in various ministries and agencies ; the Ministry of Water and Sanitation strongly recommends that the implementation of dams be done by ministry of water because as we speak we have over 104 engineers and I believe we have the capacity to handle all these dams; we can share the water with anybody including irrigation projects ,” he added.
In his response, Mbiuki stated that the irrigation sector was moved from the Water Ministry to Agriculture a move whose reasons were not known by the committee.
He assured the CS that his committee will raise the issue with the executive.
“We will talk to the relevant people to ensure this ministry is streamlined and avoid directing our questions to the wrong ministry because even us do not understand why the irrigation sector was changed from your ministry to the other one,” Mbiuki said.
The committee members raised concerns over the huge amount of money that is spent in constructing dams and asked the CS to provide evidence that Kenyans will get value for their money
“Do we really ensure that Kenyans benefit from what they put their money on? countries like Tanzania, Sudan among are constructing the same dams with less money yet here we are seeing over 20 billion shillings being used to create 1 dam; why is it so expensive to create dams in our country ?” Mathioya MP Peter Kihara questioned.
His sentiments we supported by other committee members who also asked Chelugui to ensure dam projects are equitably constructed in different parts of the country.
Meanwhile a section of MPs from Elgeyo Marakwet County have said they support the investigation on the misappropriation of funds in the construction of the Arror and Kimwarer dams but that should not stop the construction.
The leaders who spoke in Parliament on Tuesday evening said, the dam project should continue to its completion because it will be of great benefit to the resident of Elgeyo Marakwet.
They also called on total compensation of the land owners.
“Our main focus is to ensure that the construction should continue because that will not hinder the investigators from doing their job and we also want the government to hasten the process of compensation and allow these people to work in peace,” said Keiyo South MP Daniel Rono.