Residents claim water funds embezzled

By EDWIN CHESEREK

Residents of Marakwet West District want alleged misuse of Sh1.2 million Local Authority Transfer Fund (Latf) project  probed.

The project would have ensured supply of clean water to the 15,000 residents of Chesuman location. The water was also to serve three learning institutions and a health centre.

Locals claimed that an engineer with the County Council of Marakwet who supervised the project conspired with the contractor to buy substandard pipes.

A committee that was set up to oversee the implementation of the project said it was not involved in the process leading to embezzlement of the funds.

“We have since realised that the money allocated by the Government to supply us with water did not serve the intended purpose,” said Benson Tenoi, the committee chairman.

Contacted by The Standard, area County Council chairman William Chesingany confirmed receiving the complaints.

He said he had ordered the concerned department to look into the matter and make recommendations.

“The council will dispatch a team to the ground to ascertain the reality of the matter and listen to the community’s grievances,” said Chesingany.

The chairman asked the residents to maintain calm, saying the council would get to the bottom of the controversy surrounding the project.

Last year, the council set aside money for the provision of clean water to the residents, who had been using unsafe water leading to disease outbreak.

Domestic purposes

Mr Tenoi said high temperatures caused the pipes to burst four days after being laid on the ground.

“We were told it is on the council’s record that the residents of Chesuman are using clean water yet that is not the case,” said Newton Chebii, a member of the committee.

The residents are now calling on the Government to intervene and have those suspects held accountable to deter others with similar intentions.

Most residents in the district fetch water for domestic purposes from River Arror, which is about ten kilometers away.

Two years ago, there was cholera outbreak in Koibirir location after residents used unsafe water from the river.