Hundreds of women took to the streets of Sipili town in Laikipia County to protest the delay of a multi-million water – tank project for women groups.
The women, who feared they had been ‘conned’, said the project which is set to cost the county government and foreign donors over Shs. 50 million has stalled for the last three months.
According to the women, the project spearheaded by the governor’s wife, Mrs. Grace Irungu, cost them over two million shillings they deposited to benefit from the subsidized tanks.
The agreement, they say, was that each member contributes Shs. 9, 000 being half the price of a 2300 litre water tank, with the county government and the donors contributing the rest for each one of them.
“The tanks were to be delivered in two weeks. We fear that we could have lost our money, as efforts to get in touch with Mrs. Irungu have borne no fruits to date,” noted their Chairperson, Mrs. Beatrice Muchiri.
Muchiri gave the County government a seven day ultimatum to deliver the tanks, failure to which “the money be refunded in full”.
“We fear that this deal could have gone sour since the receipts given to us had no rubber stamps and we doubt they are genuine. It would be so wrong for a county government to fool us in the deal and yet we toiled to get the money for the tanks,” she lamented.
When contacted on phone, Governor Joshua Irungu assured that the project was still on course, blaming the IFMIS procurement process introduced by the national government, saying it had delayed the procuring of the water tanks.
“The process has been the stumbling block to development projects in the counties which has caused these delays. But since the cancellation of the process by President Uhuru Kenyatta, there was hope”, added the Governor.
He confirmed that the county opened the tenders on Monday and the tanks will be delivered in three weeks.
By Anne Sabuni