Two Chinese construction firms undertaking national government water flagship projects in Siaya County have been ordered to appear before the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) for undermining government efforts to provide the locals with clean and potable water.
Nyanza Regional Commissioner Magu Mutindika, who led a team of the regional development implementation and coordination committee on a tour of the county said the chief executive officers of M/s Shanxi Geological Engineering Exploration Institute and M/s Zhongmei Engineering Group Limited will have to explain why they have persistently ignored instructions from government officials to perform their contractual obligations despite the extension of the contracts on several occasions.
The regional commissioner lamented that the multi-million shilling presidential projects; the Siaya – Bondo water project’s last-mile connectivity and Ugunja – Sega – Ukwala water project, are supposed to be commissioned by President Uhuru Kenyatta before leaving the office adding that the government will not allow anyone to frustrate their completion.
He said that the management of the two firms has been evading government officials whenever they are taken to task to have the projects completed within the agreed time frame.
In the case of the Siaya – Bondo water project’s last-mile connectivity, the regional commissioner lamented that the contractor was supposed to have laid 80 kilometres of pipes and connected 3,000 households with water by the end of December last year.
“He has not achieved the target and has only managed 1,200 households and has persistently ignored instructions from the resident engineer,” lamented Mutindika.
Mutindika, who was flanked by senior Presidential Delivery Unit directors, Jared Buoga, Tuta and Sylvance Osele further accused M/s Zhongmei Engineering Group Limited of lying that the government owed him money.
“The contractor claims that there is non-payment which is not true. The issue is lack of capacity on the part of the contractor,” said the regional commissioner.
He ordered the management of the Lake Victoria Waterworks Development Agency and the Central Rift Valley Waterworks Development Agency to post officials in the two projects who will oversee operations to ensure that they are completed by the end of June 2022 to await commissioning.
The Siaya – Bondo last mile connectivity project will cost Ksh 265 million when complete while the Ugunja – Sega – Ukwala water project will cost a whopping one billion shillings.
Both projects are funded by the Africa Development Bank.
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