• The Senator started with the evaluation of the Sh1.7 billion Dishi na County school feeding programme on Wednesday.
• Sifuna called on the Sakaja-led administration to prioritise the completion of existing projects before starting new ones.
Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna has been a man on a fact-finding mission in the capital this week.
Despite being a vocal critic of the national government, Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna has shifted focus to scrutinising local projects within the capital this week.
Displaying a commitment to serving the interests of Nairobi residents, Sifuna conducted a series of site visits to projects with great impacts on the public.
On Wednesday, the Senator started with the evaluation of the Sh1.7 billion Dishi na County school feeding programme.
"Visiting some of the ongoing projects in Nairobi today as part of the oversight function in my office," Sifuna said.
The Senator was at the Giga Kitchen in Industrial Area, and visited the kitchens at Kwa Njenga and Bidii primary schools.
He said a comprehensive report will be released once he was done with his fact finding mission.
"We are speaking to the teachers, Parents, contractors and even the students themselves on the project implementation so far," Sifuna said.
Dishi na County school feeding programme is an initiative by Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja that seeks to provide lunch for public primary school children at a subsidised cost of Sh5 per meal.
In his first budget for 2023-24, Sakaja allocated Sh1.2 billion towards the feeding programme.
Some Sh500 million was allocated to building seven more kitchens and the rest to subsidise the cost of a plate for each child.
Sakaja last year signed an intergovernmental partnership agreement with the national government on the implementation of a school meal plan in Nairobi.
The Sh1.7 billion agreement sets forth the terms of understanding between the parties in the implementation of the school meals programme in public primary schools in Nairobi.
Ten central kitchens for the programme have been constructed since June last year.
They are located in Dagoretti North, Embakasi Central, Embakasi South, Kasarani, Kibra, Makadara, Starehe, Roysambu, Ruaraka, and Westlands subcounties.
At least 60 schools in Nairobi are set to benefit from the Dishi na County school feeding programme as it entered its second phase last month
On Thursday, Sifuna visited Mbagathi and Mutuini hospitals to asses their status.
Giving revelations, Sifuna said that Mutuini hospital had an X-ray machine that was not in use despite being installed.
"At Mutuini we have an X-ray machine installed and ready but not in use because the room it is in has no lead doors! The estimated cost is Sh700,000 only," he said in a statement.
Sifuna who is also the ODM Secretary General claimed that the hospital is owed millions which have led to some things not being operational.
He alleged that under the Linda Mama programme, National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) owed the health facility Sh13 million.
Sifuna was also briefed that there was a new wing under construction at Mutuini that had stalled because the contractor was owed Sh15 million.
The senator crossed over to Mbagathi Hospital where he said the national fund owed the facility Sh85 million.
He said he also established that there was Sh118 million in pending bills incurred by the defunct Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) and a stalled outpatient/radiology block.
Sifuna called on the Sakaja-led administration to prioritise the completion of existing projects before starting new ones.
He said that completing some of projects like the ones mentioned above should be a priority.
"The County must prioritise completion of existing projects before committing money to new ones like the Sh800 million being spent on borough offices," he stated.
Turning to the National Government, the Senator urged State House to also clear all debts incurred by the NMS as the unit was under the Office of the President.
"State House pay the debts incurred by NMS. Those are your responsibility," he said.
Last month, Sakaja disclosed that pending bills from the defunct Nairobi Metropolitan Services will be moved to the Office of the President.
He said the agreement was arrived at late last year.
"What we agreed during the summit of the Council of Governors and the President was that all those pending NMS projects are domiciled under the Executive order of the presidency, where NMS was domiciled," he told the Star.
There are about eight pending NMS projects which have not been completed.
NMS was retired President Uhuru Kenyatta’s flagship project to upgrade the capital city after years of neglect by previous regimes.
Initiatives initiated by Uhuru under NMS, including health centres, water, sewer lines, and street lighting, have consumed billions.
However, findings by the Auditor General Nancy Gathungu in 2023 revealed that taxpayers may have lost Sh2.6 billion in advance payments to contractors for works which have since stalled.
The report, for instance, showed that Sh1.6 billion had already been paid out by NMS for projects that are yet to be delivered across the city.
They include the expansion of sewer lines and street lighting in Dandora, Kangemi, Kawangware, Dagoretti Corner, Waithaka, Riruta, Kibera, Korogocho, Mathare, Zimmerman, Thome, Githurai 45, Mwihoko, Kasarani and Mwiki.
NMS, the report shows, also paid out Sh869 million to a contractor for the construction of four hospitals in Nairobi's informal settlements.
NMS paid the contractor the full cost for the construction of 19 health facilities- 10 level 2, nine level 3, and three health facilities in Nairobi-works which were to be done in 90 days.
Amref Health Africa appointed the contractor, after obtaining a license as a procurement agent for the Ministry of Health, to equip the facilities at Sh900 million.
In the arrangement, NMS signed an agreement with the Health Ministry to construct the 19 facilities.
However, at the time of the audit, works at four health facilities in Sinai, Pumwani, Majengo, Lucky Summer and Gumba were at 85 per cent, 15 per cent, 10 per cent and five per cent respectively.