NO NEW PROGRAMMES

Environment docket faulted for retaining old projects to get cash

Department seeks approval of Sh4.4bn budget but MCAs demand to know its achievements

In Summary

• MCAs said it has only achieved less than 10 per cent of the targeted projects as outlined in the Annual Development Plan.

• Kangogo said programmes do not change given that the ADP is usually obtained from the County Integrated Development Plan.

Nairobi Environment and Water executive Vesca Kangogo before the assembly Committee on Environment and Water on November 26, 2019.
Nairobi Environment and Water executive Vesca Kangogo before the assembly Committee on Environment and Water on November 26, 2019.
Image: EZEKIEL AMINGA

The Nairobi Environment department has been accused of failing to implement new projects since September 2017, despite being allocated billions of shillings.

This was revealed on Tuesday at a joint sitting of the assembly Water and Environment committee and Vesca Kangogo, the County Executive Committee member for Environment. Submissions for the water and environment sectors (2020-21 ADP) were made.

MCAs said it has only achieved less than 10 per cent of the targeted projects as outlined in the Annual Development Plan.

In the Financial year ending June 2018, the department was allocated Sh2.03 billion. In the subsequent year, it got Sh2.3 billion, while in the current year (2019-20) it was given Sh2.7 billion and Sh 1.5 billion for development.

The House committee was taken aback by the department’s request for approval of its Sh4.4 billion budget, despite failing to show the projects it has completed in the last two financial years (2017-18 and 2018-19). Minority Whip Peter Imwatok accused the team of “copy-pasting’ proposed projects “over and over”.

“It has now become games because the county is fond of going forward with the same repetitive ideas and agendas that have never been implemented since 2017. We have yet to see the achievements since then,” Imwatok said.

“I’m surprised that it is only in Nairobi where we have the term rollovers, despite it not mentioned in the Public Finance and Management Act.”

Kangogo defended the department, saying programmes do not change given that the ADP is usually obtained from the County Integrated Development Plan. Only activities and interventions change, she said.

The department’s plans in the ADP 2020-21 include the construction of weighbridge at Sh40 million, 18 sweeping contracts at Sh2.2 billion, purchase of 4,000 litter bins at Sh18 million, three reuse compactors at Sh60 million, 15 skip loaders at Sh50 million, and installation of a GPS system at Sh130 million.

Embakasi MCA Michael Ogada questioned whether it was wise to implement new projects, yet the department has achieved less than 10 per cent on development.

“The officers are proposing plans, which they cannot achieve. We really need to be satisfied that what we are going to pass are things which are implementable. We just don’t do budgets for the sake of it. As legislators, there is a need to be very thorough so we give them a budget they can use,” he said.

The department was also taken to task to highlight its achievements for the last two years. In 2018-19, more than Sh305 million was allocated to the Nairobi Water Company s it could fix water problems in wards.

County water director Mario Kainga said the sector has distributed 700 tanks to 71 of the city’s 85 wards. He also cited ongoing construction of three ablution blocks and seven borehole projects.

Water Committee chairman Paul Kados dismissed the achievements as rollover projects. He said only Utawala ward has a functional borehole.

The MCAs directed Kangogo to present a comprehensive report on Friday and clearly highlight the achievements of the current administration, status of projects and corresponding names of contractors.

(Edited by F'Orieny)