Raila accuses State of diverting funds for projects in Nyanza

Friday, May 12th, 2023 03:00 | By
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Azimio leader Raila Odinga at a past rally. PHOTO/(@RailaOdinga)Twitter

Azimio la Umoja leader Raila Odinga yesterday criticised Kenya Kwanza government for allegedly abandoning development projects initiated in the Nyanza region by the previous regime.

 Raila also accused the government of taking away projects from the region to other areas.

 He cited the construction of the Sh25 billion Koru-Soin dam and Sh4.9 billion Mamboleo-Muhoroni road as projects that had been abandoned by the Kenya Kwanza administration.

The Opposition leader claimed that construction works on the projects had stalled despite money been allocated in the previous budget.

He said the current flash floods, which have displaced thousands of families and destroyed crops, could have been averted if the dam was in place.

“We proposed during the reign of President Uhuru Kenyatta that the dam be constructed but some people are allegedly out to embezzle the funds. Money was allocated and the contractor even moved to the site,” he said, while revealing that they had proposed several dam projects to be constructed across the country and not only the one in Koru-Soin zone.

 The Koru-Soin dam was meant to provide a long term solution to the floods menace especially in the lower Nyando areas. The dam will be built on the slopes of Got Alila Hill in Muhoroni, Kisumu county, and the slopes of Koitatui Hill in Soin, Kericho county.

The dam, which was slated to be completed in 2028, is expected to store up to 93.7 million cubic metres and supply about 72,000 cubic metres of water daily for domestic and formal use. It has, however, stalled for some time now.

Raila wondered why the construction of the dam has stalled for a long time despite funds having been allocated to facilitate the project.

 He claimed that  funds earmarked for the construction of the dam were being misappropriated. 

Local leaders

 Speaking during a tour of the floods prone Nyando sub-county in Kisumu yesterday, Raila asked the state to ensure prudent use of  money set aside to construct dams.

Raila, who was accompanied by Kisumu governor Prof Anyang Nyong’o, his deputy Mathews Owili, Nyando MP Jared Okello and a host of local leaders, claimed that the project, albeit good, has always been delayed because of alleged graft.

Nyong’o, too questioned why the Koru-Soin dam project had stalled yet funds had been released.

He noted that the government last year allocated Sh 200 million in the budget for the construction of the dam and the contractor went to the site but works are yet to start months later.

 “The contractor is still at the site with his machines. What is sad is that Koru-Soin is not listed among the dams to be constructed in the country,” Nyong’o claimed.

The governor asked county assemblies within the Lake Region Economic Bloc to pass a resolution that they will each push for the construction of the dam.

 Similarly, he called on MPs from the region to petition the National Assembly and Senate over the multi-million shilings dam project.

The leaders donated assorted foodstuff to the affected residents and urged the government to supply more relief food.

They also asked the state to create permanent solutions to end the seasonal displacement of families and flooding of the croplands because of  effects of rain.

ICT Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo while on relief food distribution in the area recently assured that the Koru-Soin dam would be completed by 2028.

“We want to assure the  affected families that the state is keen to build the dam to store excess water, thereby preventing floods,’’ Owalo said during a tour of the homesteads affected by raging floods in the lower Nyando River Basin as they donated assorted state relief food.

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