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Sonko appoints team to audit utilisation of Sh80bn earmarked for Nairobi upgrade

Sonko wants his Executive team to oversee the implementation of the projects to ensure their realisation/COURTESY

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 15 – Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has appointed an audit team to probe Sh80 billion that had been set aside for the Nairobi Metropolitan Services Improvement Programme.

On Wednesday, Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko met with Engineer Benjamin Njega from the Ministry of Transport for a breakdown of the project.

The Nairobi Metropolitan Service Improvement Project, which was started in December 2012, is expected to be completed in May 2019.

It is funded by the Kenyan government, International Development Association and the World Bank, and is expected to transform the Capital City.

The project was to end in June 2017 but had to be extended as some of the projects were not yet done.

Engineer Njega informed Governor Sonko that some billions of shillings had already been pumped into several projects within Nairobi.

He said the entire project was divided into four components: Institutional Reforms and Planning, Local Government Infrastructure and Services, Metropolitan Infrastructure and Services and the fourth and last component will be Project Management, Monitoring and Evaluation.

The Component of Institutional Reforms and Planning has been allocated Sh11.4 billion and the second component of County Government Infrastructure and Service allocated Sh28.2 billion.

The Metropolitan Infrastructure and Service, which is the third component of the project got the lion share of Sh39.2 billion and the Project Management, Monitoring and Evaluation was allocated Sh1 billion.

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Engineer Njega said the work for the third component, which is Metropolitan Infrastructure, entails upgrading infrastructure at the commuter railways stations at Ruiru, Kahawa, Githurai, Mwiki, Dandora, Embakasi, Donholm, Kikuyu and Athi River.

He said 42 per cent of the Sh28.2 billion meant for the second component, which is County Government Infrastructure, has already been used mainly on construction of storm water drainage systems, security and street lighting.

He added already three water tankers for the fire brigade, two backhoe excavators have been delivered and the existing Nairobi fire stations rehabilitated using part of the cash.

The major projects under this component include the construction of fire stations along Kangundo Road and Waithaka.

They will also build markets in Mwariro and Karandini.

The drilling of boreholes and construction of elevated water tanks has commenced.

Tenders for the construction of fire stations and markets have been awarded and are scheduled to commence shortly, said Njenga.

“Our aim is to strengthen urban services and infrastructure in the Nairobi Metropolitan Region through investments in local infrastructure which include roads, markets, street lighting, bicycle and pedestrian pathways, drainage, safety and security,” he said.

However, Sonko is not satisfied with the breakdown and wants the ten Nairobi executives to oversee how the said cash is utilised in every sector.

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“Each Executive has to oversee if the projects under their departments were well undertaken. We want to physically see all the named projects, the vehicles purchased,” said Sonko.

He was speaking during a meeting with his Executive on Thursday morning.

He tasked the County Secretary Leboo Morintat to ask the department to list some of the projects under the Nairobi Metropolitan Project.

He said all vehicles purchased under this programme should be paraded for the public to see.

“I want to see all these projects. We do not want an instance where billions are allocated to the public but the projects are just on paper and billions siphoned,” he said.

Sonko warned that he will not tolerate any individual trying to frustrate the implementation of the projects.

“I issue a stern warning to all county staff and other people interested in these projects. We will not allow any person to interfere or try and politicise these projects. We want transparency and accountability,” said the Governor.

He also added that a team of experts had been tasked and are on the lookout for disease outbreaks, displacement of people and other unfortunate incidences that might happen as a result of the heavy rains.

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