Senate Agricultural committee calls for Galana Kulalu auditing

A man working at the Galana-Kulalu irrigation scheme in Kilifi and Tana river counties./FILE

Nairobi, KENYA: Senate committee on Agriculture wants the office of Auditor General to audit the saga surrounding controversial Galana Kulalu project.

Speaking during a meeting involving stakeholders at parliament buildings, the committee chair Njeru Ndwiga directed the auditor general to investigate the six billion shillings project and serve the committee with the report in 30 days.

This is after the contractor of the project and the agricultural principal Secretary Fred Segor read from different scripts in matters related to the project.

Initially, the contractor indicated that the project has stalled because the ministry of agriculture refused to release funds meant for the purchase of equipment from Turkey.

On the other hand, the ministry insisted that it is obliged to pay for equipment after the completion of work.

It also emerged that the 85 percent of the project that is completed is in the sector of infrastructure while 50 percent in Agricultural sector.

“85 percent of the project is in terms of infrastructure, 5100 acres is 52 percent of work done, lets differentiate between infrastructure and farming,” Segor said.

It also emerged that sh.500 million was used to clear bushes to prepare for the project.

Kilifi governor Amason Kingi and his Tana River counterpart, Dhadho Godhana, complained that the national government is not doing enough in addressing the Galana Kulalu project.

They insisted that the project should be handed over to the county government of Kilifi and Tana River if the government wants to address the skyrocketing maize flour prices.

“There have been untruths from the national government on Galana Kulalu, for anyone to wake up and scale it down, there is no day the price of maize flour will go down, if milling is done by private sector,” Kingi said.

“This project is to be domiciled by these two counties, Tana River and Kilifi as implementing entities of the project,” Kingi added.

Kingi hinted that the counties opted to go to court over the matter but the decision was rescinded.

Consequently, the chair said that it will give a directive about the project after Auditor general tables the report before the committee.