County leaders can’t account for stalled projects since 2013

A section of Kabarnet Stadium in Baringo County. [Kipsang Joseph/Standard]
Baringo County Government is on the spot over delayed projects despite huge allocation of funds. Incomplete projects over the years paint a grim picture as ghostly structures stand incomplete.

A project status report during the year ended June 30, 2018 had a rollover of over Sh1.7 billion.

The report indicates that some projects rolled out in 2013/2014 remain incomplete.

Various audits that Auditor General Edward Ouko has since flagged off show major development projects that remain incomplete.

The projects, according to the AG’s 2017/2018 report indicate they are either in progress, stalled, abandoned or completed awaiting commissioning.

Kabarnet Stadium remains incomplete years since work commenced despite a contractor being awarded contract No BRCG/C/116/2016-17 to rehabilitate the stadium at a cost of Sh175 million.

The contract agreement was signed on November 22, 2017 and the expected date of completion was February 28, 2018.

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Examination of expenditure records for the Ministry of Youth Gender Sports and Culture reveal the contractor was paid Sh16,776,268 in June 2018.

Physical verification of the project on October 15, 2018 showed the stadium is incomplete yet the contractor is not on site.

The county government in the financial year 2014/2015 proposed construction of the boundary wall at the stadium at a cost of Sh10,775,356. Tender for construction of the boundary wall was awarded to a M/S Trumph. At the time of audit in 2015 construction works were ongoing. The AG however raised queries after it emerged that the county government did not own the land.

During that period about Sh3 million was paid vide payment voucher numbers 10000542 and 10000541.

“Although works are ongoing the county government does not own the land where the construction is being done. The expenditure may go to waste if a third party claims the same land,” reads the report.

In the financial year 2015/2016 the AG raised queries over incomplete works at the stadium.

The audit indicated that a contractor, Birmask Limited was awarded a tender at a contract sum of Sh14 million for earth works and levelling. The contract was to last two months, beginning October 4, 2015.

Interestingly, a year later the project had not been completed. “As at June 2016 the contractor had been paid Sh12,620,861. However, at the time of audit verification on October 2016 exactly a year after the end of the contract period ground levelling of the stadium was incomplete,” said the report.

A 2016/2017 Controller of Budget report showed there was construction of sanitation, changing rooms and pavilion at the stadium at a cost of Sh23.7 million; but a visit to the stadium revealed there was no such structures at the stadium.

Barwesa slaughter house, a 2012/2013 project has also stalled. Sh27.9 million had been allocated to the project and though expected to be complete by December 2014 the project remains undone.

During the 2017/2018 financial year a contractor was paid over Sh18.4 million.

Physical verification of the project in October 2018 revealed the contractor was not on site.

The Ministry of Health project implementation status report said projects worth 327,596,835, some initiated in the financial year 2013/2014 had not been completed.

It could not be established why the county executive failed to complete the projects.

“Failure to complete the projects denies residents of Baringo County much needed medical services despite heavy investment on the facilities,” reads part of the report.

Among the medical projects is a Sh20.4 million casualty block at Marigat Hospital and a Sh6.7 million morgue at the facility - all 2014/2015 projects.

An analysis of project implementation status in Kericho County indicated that construction of Chebululu Conservancy at Kaplelartet; construction of a market shed at Kamasian market and construction of a charcoal briquette house stalled in 2013 despite over Sh9 million having been paid.

For the three projects, the contractor was not on site.

“The contract which has been missing for the last four financial years and projects unlikely to be completed,” said the AG.

Physical verification

In June 2016 construction of a milk processing plant at Eldama Ravine was launched.

However, three years down the line work has not started yet the contractor was paid over Sh3.1 million in February 2018.

The objective of the project was to enhance milk production to the Baringo Agricultural Marketing Services Cooperative Society members.

A statement of payment prepared then quantified work done at the time of abandonment of the project as Sh9,822,340.

Physical verification of the project on October 23, 2018 showed the project has stalled and no activities ongoing at the site. Materials valued at Sh170,000 including sand and cement were also missing.

Though the county executive explained during the audit they were in the process of inviting tenders for completion of remaining part of the project, no documentation was provided to confirm procurement works were in progress.

“In view of the above, no value for money has been achieved in implementation of the project,” said the AG.

Baringo Civil Society Chairperson Isaiah Biwott said the county administration must be put to task to explain the delays in implementing the numerous projects.

“We have not seen any substantive work done, people are not getting value for their money. Audit reports over the years have raised queries on the projects, which have continuously been allocated funds and nothing has been done - the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission needs to come in,” said Biwott.

Baringo County Secretary Francis Komen said he had no direct answer over the matter as each project was unique.

“I cannot give you a straight answer as circumstances vary from one project to the other, we have to look at the records to know what happened,” Komen said.  

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Baringo County GovernmentAuditor General Edward OukoStalled Projects