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Economy

Drought agency fails to account for Sh4 billion

Auditor General Edward Ouko.
Auditor General Edward Ouko. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The National Drought Management Authority cannot account for Sh4 billion meant to assist vulnerable Kenyans in times of disaster.

According to an audit report for the year ended June 2017, tabled in the National Assembly on Wednesday, the authority failed to produce documents on how it utilised Sh2.3 billion.

According to the report, the authority did not show how it identified the beneficiaries of the cash and the rates used for payment. “In the circumstances, the validity of the expenses cannot be confirmed,” said Auditor General Edward Ouko in his report.

Mr Ouko also said the authority did not provide documents for auditing of a further Sh1.7 billion relating to expenses under the Hunger Safety Net Programme.

“The expenditures and the receipts are based on requisitions made to fund various activities, but accountabilities documentation in support of the expenses have not been provided for audit verification,” reads the report.

Records indicate that through the programme, more than 600,000 of Kenya’s most vulnerable people have access to cash transfers on a regular basis, and up to 2.1 million people have benefited from emergency cash transfers in times of drought or floods.

The first phase of the programme reached 69,000 households in four northern Kenya counties, with cash transfer payments every two months. The goal of the programme is to reduce poverty, hunger and vulnerability, resulting in better and more sustainable safety nets for poor households.

Families receiving the regular bi-monthly cash transfers were selected from the poorest 10 per cent in each county. The number of beneficiary households will gradually increase to 100,000.

The report also indicates that about Sh13 million allocated to counties was not utilised and that there were no confirmations from the respective county offices of the amounts held at the end of the financial year. The auditor, however, does not mention the counties.

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