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State lacks title deeds for Sh186.8m water and sanitation project land

By Frankline Sunday | Dec 16th 2021 | 2 min read
By Frankline Sunday | December 16th 2021

This Sh15 Million water project at Belbur Village in Salgaa, Nakuru county which was implemented by the County Government of Nakuru in partnership with the Nakuru Water and Sanitation Services Company and World Vision Kenya. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

The government does not have title deeds to Sh186.8 million worth of land parcels acquired for a water and sanitation project, funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB).

According to the Auditor General’s report on the Kenya Towns Sustainable Water Supply and Sanitation Programme, State agencies acquired the land for the Sh11 billion project without obtaining the ownership documents, exposing taxpayers’ funds to misuse.

“Although the sale agreements with the vendors for the respective parcels of land were provided for audit verification, there was no evidence that title deeds had been acquired,” Auditor General Nancy Gathungu said. “In the circumstances, it has not been possible to ascertain the ownership status of the parcel of land amounting to Sh186.8 million.”

The Kenya Towns Sustainable Water Supply and Sanitation Programme was initiated in 2016 to develop water supply infrastructure in 19 towns and sanitation infrastructure in 17 towns.

For this project, the AfDB had given Sh10.9 billion in loans to the implementing agencies - Tana Water Works Development Agency and the Northern Water Works Development Agency.

Some of the towns set to benefit from the project include Kerugoya, Chogoria, Mandera, Muranga, Marsabit and Isiolo.   

The two agencies have so far paid Sh162 million to 73 landowners in Mandera, Sh41.8 million to 22 owners in Chuka and Sh30 million to 20 landowners in Chogoria.

Gathungu said the project is unlikely to meet its December 2021 deadline as various contracts are yet to be honoured. “By June 30, 2020, the projects were not completed leading to the revision of the completed dates to November and December 2021,” she said.

Tana Water Development Agency blamed the delay on the slow disbursement of funds from the National Treasury. 

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