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MPs want new dams stopped to allow audit

By Mercy Mwai
Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019

A parliamentary committee wants the government to stop  all dam projects that are at the planning and procurement stage until a review of technical and financial aspects is conducted to ascertain whether the country is getting value for money.

National Assembly’s Environment and Natural Resources committee has also told the government to stop implementing any new projects using the Engineer, Procure, Construct and Finance (EPCF) funding model due to the high cost associated with it.

In a report tabled in the National Assembly last week, the committee calls for a special audit on the model to assess the cost-benefit analysis, completion rate of projects and the viability of the model.

“The Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Irrigation must forthwith stop any process of procurement for all dam projects that are at the planning and procurement stages and do a complete review of the of the technical and financial aspects of the project to ascertain whether the country is getting value for money,” the report  reads in part.

The committee chaired by Kareke Mbiuki (Maara) said the government should ensure financing models for project implementation are efficient, cost effective and give value for money.

Further, the committee wants the government to first acquire land for construction of dams long before the project implementation and before making any financial commitments with donors and partners to avoid huge costs associated with delays in the implementation phase.

Directorate

“It was further observed that various dams’ projects financial commitments had been done before the acquisition of the project land. This led to delays in the implementation of the project and huge costs in idle time and equipment,” the reports says.

The committee also proposed that all water projects be consolidated under the Ministry of Water for ease of implementation, monitoring and evaluation.

 In the report set to be debated by MPs when they return from a short recess, the committee also wants the Ministry of Water to create a dam engineering directorate which will be in charge of all dam projects from conceptualisation, through geo-technical works to design and supervision.

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