The Star (Nairobi)

31 October 2012

Kenya: Ngilu Blames Her Rivals for Stalled Kitui Dam Project

Water minister Charity Ngilu has accused her rivals of stalling the multimillion shillings Umaa dam project in her Kitui central constituency.

Ngilu said the rivals have conspired with the contractor and her former Assistant minister Mwangi Kiunjuri to sabotage the project. She claimed the cost of the project has been "astronomically inflated" to make her appear corrupt.

She further charged that a politically motivated court case had caused the stalling project that was started in 2010 to stall. Ngilu accused the dam contractors, Draft & Develop Engineers, of presenting fictitious bills.

She said the cost of the project has gone up by Sh600 million. "The construction cost of this dam was unjustifiably exaggerated from the initial Sh824 million to Sh1.4 billion, leading to a controversial stalemate which led to a court case ," she said adding all the other four dams started at the same time have been completed on schedule.

Ngilu said lack of sufficient funding had slowed down the works at the Sh300 million Kalundu dam projects. Waters from the Kalundu project will be used for irrigation in Tungutu and Ithookwe.

Ngilu said money from the CDF will be used to hire workers for the project. She also ordered that fuel be immediately supplied for the earthmover and other machineray.

The minister, who visited the site last weekend, asked the National Water Conservation and Pipeline Corporation site supervisor Dan King'ori to ensure that the projects is completed before the onset of the short rains. "The Kitui woman has been unreasonably subjected to a long wait for water due to legal battle," she said.

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