Third Eye

Development projects
shouldn’t waste away

Thursday, March 3rd, 2022 02:29 | By
A section of the 27.1-kilometre Nairobi Expressway that is expected to be complete by March next year. President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday inspected the mega project. Photo/PSCU

Elections bring change. A change in the leadership and in the direction the country is taking.

A new leadership always comes with a promise of change. A break away from the problems and ills that dogged the previous administration is a promise often told during campaigns and swearing in ceremonies. This, however, has always acted like a poisoned chalice for the former administrations’ dreams and projects.

As the clock ticks towards the August 9 General Election, there is fear that projects worth billions will be rendered white elephants because of a change of guard at the national and county levels. An Auditor General report has laid this bare saying: At least 15 governors serving their second and final term sunk more than Sh10 billion into stalled, incomplete or unutilised mega projects.

Apart from the fear that the projects may not be utilised, the fear of the new leadership starting other projects and forgetting about these ones is palpable.

In Trans Nzoia County headed by Governor Patrick Khaemba, the construction of Trans Nzoia Teaching and Referral Hospital at a cost of Sh1.4 billion has stalled. In Mombasa County for instance, a Sh1.8 billion sports complex remains stalled even as the Governor Ali Hassan Joho prepares to exit the stage. In Machakos, Governor Alfred Mutua’s administration started 27 projects in 2018/19 at a contract sum of Sh775 million and were scheduled to be completed by October 2019 are either incomplete or have stalled.

At the national level the mention of Kimwarer dam or Wei irrigation project or even the Galana Kulalu projects elicit a fear that they may never be realised. The planning of the projects took time and the projections of what they will achieve promised a bright future for the country. From food security to enhanced transportation because of good roads to better health care for the populace the projects would have had a positive impact on many Kenyans. All these benefits will come to naught if the new administration choses to abandon them.

It is unimaginable that the money already spent will go down the drain. In spite of who is chosen despite the party, faction or coalition the candidates come from it is prudent that these projects be completed. There may be variations or adjustments but the billion should not be thrown away.

We urge those in government to also prioritise those that can be finished before the elections to be done as legacy projects.

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