County taken to task over the use of funds set aside for El Nino rains

Kangai ward member of the county assembly, John Gitari has challenged the county government to explain how the shs. 10 million set aside by the County Assembly for mitigating the effects of the El Nino rains was spent.

Gitari whose area was badly affected by the rains said he would not relent until the affected families are resetled in a different area.

The villages which were much affected by the rains included, Kariua, Kamairungi and Marura villages which are informal settlements within Kangai Ward.

Gitari who rushed to the three villages when the disastrous rain hit the families after the midnight of November 11th last year says the only solution to the perennial problem is to buy an alternative land and settle them once and for all.

He said with or without the rains, the families have always borne the brunt of their effects and the way forward is to relocate them from these 40×50 plots they live in which are on a basin which exposes them to the devastating effects of rain year in year out.

However, reactin to the MCA’s demands, the Chairman of the El Nino Disaster Committee in the county, Ngundo Warui said they did not receive any funding meant for El Nino from the national government.

Ngundo said the only funding the county utilized in mitigating against the Elnino effects was shs. 10 million.

He said out of this amount, shs. 3 million went to infrastructure repairs like road repairs and fuel, shs. 2 million to the Health department for the procurement of drugs and medicines.

Others included, shs. 1.5 million for the environment through hiring labour to un-block culverts and water channels especially at the three villages, shs. 1.5 for food and non food items for the victims while shs. 2 million was retained for any future disaster.

He said the most affected areas by the El Nino related floods were in the low lying areas of Mwea where 379 families were affected.

Area residents however, have complained that their access roads damaged by the El Nino rains are still impassable.

Only recently, boda boda operators took to digging of trenches in many of the feeder roads in the county protesting their deplorable condition and demanding that the funding set aside for the El Nino mitigation be utilized to improve the roads.

Motorists on the other hand have had rough times as they have been frequently visiting garages due to the bad road network in the area.

‘’We use our vehicles to transport farm produce to the market but the roads are in a sorry state which makes us frequent garages for repairs of our vehicles since they cannot withstand the terrible roads anymore,’’ said the proprietor of Jenta tours who has a fleet of vehicles in Kirinyaga”.

Many of the residents have faulted the government for not availing the El Nino funds to have the roads repaired as promised.

By Irungu Mwangi