By Andrew Ombuni

The county government has dismissed claims by Senator Cleophas Malala that most of the projects are donor-funded and not from money allocated to Governor Wycliffe Oparanya administration.

Reacting to claims that a big chunk of the Sh14 billion the county gets from the national government every financial year could be ending up in individual pockets since most projects are being funded by donors, the Lands, Urban and Physical Planning Executive Alfred Matianyi said 70 per cent of all feeder roads in Kakamega and Mumias municipalities were upgraded to bitumen standards before the World Bank gave a grant of Sh400 million saying the county assembly should be the one complaining and not the senator.

“It’s true the World Bank is supporting the county to upgrade infrastructure in Kakamega town and municipalities under the Kenya Urban Support Programme (KUSP) but the money can’t be used to develop the whole county,” said Mr Matianyi.

Senator Malala wants the governor to explain the projects that have been done by the county money. The vocal senator said majority of the projects the governor is boasting to have done were funded by the World Bank and the national government as conditional grants.

Malala was speaking during a funds drive for the Kakamega Vijana Sacco where MPs Titus Khamala (Lurambi), Bernard Shinali (Ikolomani), Naomi Shiyonga (nominated senator) and a number of MCAs were in-attendance.

“We are happy that the county government has made strides in terms of development. However, our concern is that most of these projects are not being financed by the county money but from donors,” said Malala.

According to Malala, majority of county roads within Kakamega and Mumias towns are being constructed by a conditional grant of Sh400 million the county received from the World Bank and that the financial institution is also funding other projects in the rural areas within the county.

“I want to ask Oparanya, where does he take the money the senator has been bringing to the county? There is nothing going on in rural areas and as a senator, I demand to be told by the governor what our money is doing,” said Malala.

He said Governor Oparanya should consider using the money that would have done the projects being funded by the national government and World Bank to finance youth and women-based projects.

The senator also wondered why the ‘One Cow Initiative’ where poor and vulnerable families were to receive a free dairy cow in a bid to increase milk production in the county was given to the rich and the middle income earners.

“They told me that a poor man cannot be given the dairy cow since he cannot manage it. I want to correct the county executive that if a poor man can have 10 kids and he manages to school them up to the university, how can a dairy cow be difficult to be taken care of by him?” he said.

Mr Matianyi said the county is providing technical support to world bank projects and those doing the work are paid using the county money.

Kelly Nelima, the county chief officer in charge of Livestock and Fisheries Kelly Nelima told off Malala over claims that they were giving dairy cows saying those given must have capacity to manage the animals.

“The beneficiary must have an acre of land with fodder, a unit to house the dairy animal, clean water and must be a member of cooperative society. The farmer must have the capacity to do routine management like vaccination and tick control,” said Dr Nelima.

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