Stalled Flood Mitigation Projects in Western to be fast tracked and new projects initiated in Lugari District
Written by Joseph Amunya Otieno
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Bunyala DC Ali Khalif (left) PS Special Programmes Andrew Mondoh and the World Bank’s Managing Director Caroline Anstey during her tour in Busia to check on the progress of the World Banks' funded projects.[Photo/File/ Frankline Bwire]
Following The World Bank’s decision to lift suspension on its funded projects under the Western Kenya Community Driven Development and Flood Mitigation Project (WKCDD/FM), plans are under way to fast track stalled projects and initiate new ones in the larger Lugari District.
Speaking to West FM in his office, the Lugari Sub-County Project Coordinator Mr. Nashon Wawire (left), disclosed that The World Bank had written a letter to the government lifting suspension of the WKCDD/FM project after it was satisfied by the government’s efforts to put in place checks and balances that will help avoid further misuse of funds under the programme.
Mr. Wawire added that the government was compelled to refund the World Bank Sh 7 Million being compensation for misused funds between 2008 when the programme was rolled out and September 2009 when it was suspended.
The official noted that after in-depth investigation into the project it was discovered that millions of shillings had either been embezzled or channeled to wrong projects, which eventually led to its suspension and several workers losing their jobs.
He said that The World Bank in collaboration with the ministry of special programmes rolled out the WKCDD/FM project, which was supposed to run for eight years, with the main objective of improving sources of livelihoods in Western Kenya by empowering the unemployed, youth and women, besides checking the flooding problem in Budalang’i.
Before the programme was suspended, Mr. Wawire revealed that a total of Sh 6,840,000 had already been released as grants for financing several micro projects in commercial dairy farming, seedlings production, tissue culture banana farming and poultry production and a further Sh 10,688,393 towards Support to Local Development (SLD) projects such as Amaranth milling plant, irrigation and gravity water projects in the larger Lugari District which comprises of Matete, Lugari and Likuyani.
For the project to succeed in the area, the Coordinator said that his department had already put in place a raft of measures including enhanced sensitization, social accountability within benefiting communities and establishment of social audit and integrity committees.
He appealed to line departments such as youth, livestock, agriculture, veterinary, gender and social services among others to coordinate their community driven activities and work as a team in order to avoid duplication of programmes and misdirection of funds.
Mr. Wawire urged beneficiaries of such grants to be transparent and avoid being selfish.