Boreholes could sink Kenyan minister

September 1, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 1 – Water and Irrigation Minister Charity Ngilu is on the brink of being censured by Parliament over accusations that her ministry is spending close to a third of its resources to provide water for her Ukambani backyard.

Mrs Ngilu is expected to face a Parliamentary committee to explain why her ministry had ignored the principle of equity in the last three years by spending the bulk of its resources in the Lower Eastern region.

There was fury in the House on Wednesday morning after a list of boreholes drilled by the Water Ministry in the period tabled by Assistant Minister Mwangi Kiunjuri indicated that out of the 408 boreholes drilled 126 were in the Ukambani region.

"We want the Minister to come and explain to us why she is allocating such amounts of resources to her region," said Garsen MP Danson Mungatana.

Deputy Speaker Farah Maalim ordered the Committee on Equal Opportunities and that of Lands and Natural Resources to “move with speed to carry out investigations on the matter and report to the House.”

North Horr MP Chachu Ganya, who had demanded the list, expressed anger with the inconsistencies.

"I have no problem with my brothers (from Ukambani) getting water but what I want is equity,” said the MP.

Mr Kiunjuri unsuccessfully tried to defend his ministry over the allegations but the MPs would not budge.

“We don’t want the Assistant Minister to appear because we feel he is not involved in this. We want the Minister herself,” said Mr Mungatana.

The Assistant Minister is expected to bring a further explanation to the House on Thursday even as the Minister appears before the joint committee.

"It is important that we are given an opportunity to come back here with a comprehensive answer. It will be unfair for the Ministry to be condemned unheard especially after admitting here that the answer I have given is inadequate," he pleaded.

According to the census results released on Tuesday only 15 percent of Kenyans have access to clean water.

“The implications of this are very detrimental since water is very essential. If this claim of unfairness is proven it amounts to genocide," said Abdul Bahari (Isiolo South).

According to the list tabled in Parliament on Tuesday, Nairobi comes second in the number of boreholes with 26 drilled.

"Looking at this list only one borehole has been drilled in Upper Eastern as compared to the 126 in the Lower Eastern. Since Independence no borehole has been drilled in Ndaragwa constituency," complained Ndaragwa MP Jeremiah Kioni.     


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