Counties

Kajiado’s Sh320m public library, stadium yet to be completed 8 years later

lenku

Kajiado County Governor Joseph Ole Lenku. FILE PHOTO | NMG

A Sh119 million public library and Sh198 million stadium in Kajiado County have stalled for eight years in what has been blamed on the political differences between governor Joseph ole Lenku and his predecessor David Nkedianye

The contract to build the mega library in Kajiado town was awarded in the 2014/2015 financial year by Mr Nkedianye but the project stalled when he was ousted in the 2017 elections.

The library was designed to have cultural and resource centres, ICT block, recreation facility and children training unit. The aim was to cultivate a reading culture in the county targeting rural dwellers.

Situated in Kajiado town, the library was expected to serve people from Kajiado town and its environs, as well as the public from as far as Namanga town. The facility was also meant to create employment.

The project was to be funded by the county annually until completion but in several financial years, the current administration has failed to allocate funds for the project.

A spot check by Business Daily yesterday indicates a towering unfinished abandoned project, with building materials strewn all over with overgrown acacia trees around the project area.

It is evident the contactor has been away for several years and vandals are having a field day.

Locals have urged the leaders to end “petty” politics so that the projects can proceed.

"The project came to a halt after a new administration was elected in the 2017 general elections. The project is a classic example of how politics can undermine development," said John Sapura, a resident.

The residents are now urging the county government to finish the project which risks becoming a white elephant yet a colossal amount of public money has been spent.

"Let our leaders not play cheap politics with development projects. The library ought to boost the low standards of education in this area. It is a big shame," said Mr Peter Namasaka.

In 2020, Senate's Public Accounts Committee summoned governor Lenku, who admitted that there had been several issues bogging down the project. He however noted that the setbacks had been dealt with.

Another project is the Ngong Sports Complex which was started in the 2014-2015 financial year. The Sh198 million project was supposed to be completed in four years but it remains in its initial stages despite numerous promises by the current administration to complete it.

"Ngong stadium remains a wild goose chase between members of the public and devolved unit after eight years. We hear a lot of money has already been spent on the project," said James Odour, a Ngong resident.