Uhuru Unhappy With Project Delays

PRESIDENT Uhuru Kenyatta is concerned over delays in execution of infrastructure projects, saying this caused wastage of public funds.

Speaking at the opening of the Kenya-Japan conference on infrastructure yesterday in Nairobi, the President, without giving specifics, said he is disappointed some of the planned projects “overrun their timelines”.

“A key setback that continues to bother me is the inordinate delay in finishing public projects,” Uhuru told delegates at the conference adding: “I do not need to tell you how frustrating this can be. But I hope that we can all learn how to make these inordinate delays a thing of the past.”

There have been delays in construction of some key projects among them the Standard Gauge Railway, rehabilitation of the roads in Upper Hill – a major commercial centre in Nairobi, extension of the Manda airstrip as well as upgrade of Diani airstrip.

In the case of SGR, some earthworks have been delayed due to land compensation disputes while the Upper Hill roads rehabilitation is yet to be complete, way past the August 27, 2014 deadline.

President Uhuru urged local contractors and investors to work closely with their Japanese counterparts to improve quality of workmanship for local infrastructure projects.

He said Japan was advanced in technological matters and is well placed to help build skills capacity in Kenya.

Meanwhile Kenya is set to host Tokyo International Conference on Africa development next year aimed at channeling more Japanese investments into the region.