City Hall’s contractors to blame for Sh437 million faulty CCTV cameras, says transport ministry engineer

CCTV cameras in the Central Business District (CBD) in Nairobi. Picture taken on Tuesday,February 05 2019 [David Njaaga,Standard]

Nairobi County Government has been blamed for the malfunctioning of 42 closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in the city.

According to the Ministry of Transport, the cameras went off after contractors engaged by City Hall in 2014 cut fibre-optic cables at the Lusaka-Mombasa-Lang’ata roads roundabout in 2014.

“Transmission for the CCTV cameras is done through fibre optics thus once the cables were interfered with, the cameras became faulty. The contractor who cut the cables was supposed to repair them but this has not been done,” Nairobi Metropolitan Department’s Wachira Gitau told the Public Accounts Committee last week.

A report by Auditor General Edward Ouko recently revealed that the cameras, which cost Sh437 million to install, were dysfunctional.

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Mr Ouko said the cameras installed in markets, highways, bus parks, hotel entrances, among other strategic places, broke down due to poor maintenance.

The cameras were part of the integrated urban surveillance system for Nairobi metropolitan area implemented in 2012.

Mr Gitau, an engineer, further explained that City Hall had written to the Lands ministry and agreed to pay Sh7.2 million for the repair of cameras and streetlights that were damaged at the University Way-Uhuru Highway roundabout.  

This, however, raised questions on why City Hall had undertaken to pay for the damage caused by university students instead of the national government.

Department of Transport and Public Works chief officer Fredrick Karanja confirmed the cameras have not been working for long.

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Karanja said the county was not to blame for the current state of affairs as the project was never handed to it for maintenance.

City Hall, he said, wrote to the national government asking to control the system in March last year.

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Nairobi County GovernmentMinistry of TransportLusaka-Mombasa-Lang’ataCity HallCCTVFaulty Cameras