Why Galana Kulalu project stalled

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Questions are being raised as to why Galana Kulalu, collapsed.

The project was one of president Uhuru’s mega plans contained in agenda 4 for ensuring food security.

The project was meant to ensure Kenya’s food security by use of irrigation. The construction of a Sh7.2 billion Galana Kulalu model farm was part of the Uhuru’s agenda 4 food security plans.

Maize farm at Galana-Kulalu in Tana River County which is part of the Galana Kulalu Food Security Project on September 9, 2015. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Kenya now risks losing Sh5.9 billion already paid to the Israeli company that was contracted to build the farm. This money constitutes 80 per cent of the entire sum dedicated to the project.

Investigations have revealed the contractor, Green Arava, has downed tools for several months now, despite multiple promises to resume work.

Experts say if the works are not completed and all required equipment not installed, the billions spent will go to waste.

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Series of letters and minutes of meetings between the firm, the National Irrigation Board (NIB), the implementing agency for the project, and the Ministry of Water and Irrigation have come to the fore. These communications reveal the sour relations between the parties.

In the documents, Green Arava accuses NIB of failing to honour requests for payments before threatening to stop any further work until all its requests for payments are addressed.

On the other hand, NIB accuses the contractor of going rogue, failing to respond to numerous letters, demobilizing from the construction site contrary to contractual obligations, and embarking on a go-slow.

“We have reached a point of no return. We cannot continue with more payments for work whose progress we are not pleased with. We have written to the National Treasury so that they can advise on a way forward,” Charles Muasya, the head of design and planning of irrigation projects at the National Irrigation Board, said.

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