Garissa politicians row over Sh10 billion donor project

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2021 00:00 |
Garissa MPs from left Mohamed Garane (Lagdera), Abdikarim Osman (Fafi) and Mohamed Duale (Dadaab) when they addressed the media yesterday. Photo/PD/SAMUEL KARIUKI

A donor-funded project aimed at assisting communities in northern Kenya is facing headwinds as the county government of Garissa fights to control it.

Kenya Development Response to Displacement Impact Project (KDRDIP) funded by the World Bank was set up to assist communities, which were affected by the influx of refugees within their localities.

The Sh10 billion project is being implemented in three counties of Garissa (Sh.4.2 billion), Wajir (Sh.2 billion) and Turkana (Sh3.1 billion).

But the Garissa County government now wants to control the programme and threatened to withdraw its support unless the county secretary is incorporated as a signatory to the project.

Local MPs have accused Governor Ali Korane of sabotaging the project and want Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa and the Head of Public Service to intervene.

“It is sad that the county government which has failed in its mandate to provide for the local people is now out to sabotage a well-thought project funded by donors,” Dabaad MP Mohammed Duale told a press conference at parliament buildings yesterday.

The MPs are Abdikarim Osman (Fafi) and Mohammed Hire, (Lagdera) claimed that county officials were demanding a portion of the funds as kickbacks failure to which the project is halted.

“The county government has become the major hindrance to the project and we will not sit as leaders as our people continue to suffer,” warned Hire.

Politicising project

Speaking while launching the project, Wamalwa warned against its politicisation.

“Priority will be given to the community, they  should be the ones to prioritise their own projects,” Wamalwa directed.

 He condemned the habit by some government officials who arm-twist the community to accept projects they have not been consulted on for their own selfish gains.

“We are aware of these few national and county government officials who are out to arm-twisting grassroots officials.

I want to caution them to keep off community projects and allow residents to decide on what projects are best for them and in what priority they should be implemented,” Wamalwa said.

He said the committees formed by the community will be tasked to identify the projects that mainly revolve around health, schools and food security.

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