Sh 200million Trans Nzoia West District headquarters left roofless by wind
Written by Leonard Wamalwa
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The DC Wilfred Kinyua (L) looking on at the fallen roof as he consulted with other officers on how to have it removed from the entrance. Photos | Leonard Wamalwa
Poor workmanship led to the destruction of the newly occupied Trans Nzoia West district headquarters in Kitale town over the week end as fingers were being pointed at the contractors and government officers involved in the construction of the building.
During the incident, the roof of the 3-storey building was blown off blocking the main entrance; no casualties were reported being on a weekend.
The district works officer Mark Mulunda as he spoke to reporters in his office.
The over Kshs 200 million building whose construction works started in 1989 was undertaken by two different contractors had yet to be officially handed over to the government, according to the district public works officer Mark Mulunda.
Speaking to reporters in his office, Mulunda said that the building whose initial allocation was Kshs 98 million before it stalled for ten years since 1997 after the government ran short of funds.
Mulunda added that despite the government not releasing funds on time the initial contractor remained onsite thus increasing the cost of the contract to Kshs 156 million hence leading to the government terminating his contract.
The project was later awarded to a new contractor in 2007 who was to pick up from where the first contractor and was completed at Kshs 93 million.
The front view of the head quaters offices
However, the works officer noted that despite the building being handed over to the government partially, it had not been completed fully by the second contractor M/S Kitek 7 Limited due to the technical billing issues that were not captured by the ministry's officers before awarding to the new contractor.
He said that the contractor ran out of funds before accomplishing full completion of the works hence the government officers led by the district commissioner were forced to occupy it partially as more funds for finishing works were being sought.
He said that they are looking forward to this year's budget hoping that more funds shall be allocated towards the full completion of the project.
The officer said the damage incurred was estimated at over Kshs 700,000 to have the roof well repaired. The roof which was said to have been done by the first contractor of the project Kargua Construction Company Ltd was said to have been done poorly whereby the roofing was not tied on any beam along the wall hence was prone to being blown off by any slight wind blowing that direction.
Services at the district headquarters shall be affected for quite some time since most of the departmental offices now stand a risk of having water flow into their offices from the open roof.
Area district commissioner Wilfred Kinyua told reporters at the scene that the incident has had an impact on the normal service delivery at the over 38 departments hosted by the building as he showed more fear during rainy periods.
"We thank God that nobody was injured in this incident but we fear that some of the services might not go on well especially during the rainy period because documents in certain offices might be destroyed by rain water which might flow in through the open roof," the Dc told reporters.