Changara residents protest suspension of dam project

Cleophas Okisai, who petitioned World Bank
Cleophas Okisai, who petitioned World Bank

Residents of Changara area in Teso North sub county Busia county have come out to protest the suspension of a dam project in the area.
The Ksh 24 million project near Changara market funded by the World Bank was suspended after a local activist wrote to the World Bank citing irregularities in the project.

Cleophas Okisai claims the locals were not consulted, no committee was put in place to oversee the project and the contractor is not known,”Officials from the county government came here twice and met us to tell us about the proposal and they said they will come back for more sensitization. But all of a sudden we just saw a contractor we don’t know coming to the ground and started working. He didn’t even erect a signpost to indicate the name of his company and the scope of work.”

But locals led by Ang’urai East ward manager Haron Isogoli have disputed the claims saying residents were fully involved and consulted before the project kicked off. “Am surprised to hear the activist claiming that we were not consulted yet he was along the locals who attended two meetings by world bank and the officials from the county and he even appended his signature on the questionnaire that gave a nod to this project. The committee he is talking about is also in place but its work will be to handle the project when it is complete.”

They emphasised the importance of the project in the area and called on World Bank to resume it. “We are always affected by water scarcity in this area and this project pushed by area MCA Joab Oteba was to solve the problem. It’s not for Changara people alone but will serve a very large area including Chamasir to get clean water for domestic use and for irrigation.”