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Delay in moving powerlines affecting Ida Odinga library project

By James Omoro | May 13th 2021
Homa Bay Town MP Peter inspecting the project at Ogande Girls High School in Homa Bay Town. [James Omoro, Standard]

The implementation of a multi-million-shilling project launched by Dr Ida Odinga in Homa Bay County could delay because of a stalemate between the contractor and Kenya Power.

The project christened Dr Ida Odinga Library, Research, Innovation and Resource Centre is under construction at Ogande Girls High School in Homa Bay Town Constituency and is expected to cost over Sh300 million.

The project started in December last year after a groundbreaking ceremony presided over by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, his education counterpart Prof George Magoha and Dr Ida.

Its foundation is complete but the construction cannot go on because of electricity cables hanging over the site.

The cables supply electricity to Suneka town in Kisii County from Homa Bay town. 

Homa Bay Town MP Peter Kaluma who toured the project accused Kenya Power of failing to move the cables.

“The contractor has told me he asked Kenya Power to relocate the power lines but the organisation has not done so. The company should move with speed and relocate the power lines. Electric cables hang above the site hence the work cannot continue,” said Kaluma.

Construction of the resource centre was expected to take 18 months. [James Omoro, Standard]

The MP said the cost of the project is likely to go up if the stalemate persists.

“The stalemate must be resolved. We want to see the project completed as planned delay in implementation of a project has financial implications hence this matter must be handled with the seriousness it deserves,” Kaluma said.

Homa Bay County Kenya Power Manager Ken Okumbe said his office is aware of the stalemate and has given the contractor a quotation of the fee he is supposed to pay to facilitate the relocation of the power lines.

“It is true they reported the matter to our office. We gave them the quotation for rerouting the power line but they have not paid,” said Okumbe.

The project aims at establishing a library with a capacity of 500 students, an amphitheatre that can accommodate 1,000 people, an ICT hub and a creative centre with a recording studio.

Construction of the resource centre was expected to take 18 months, from December 21 when the groundbreaking ceremony took place.

The local NG-CDF contributed Sh50 million towards the project.

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