Multi-billion scandal unearthed at National Irrigation Board


Multi-billion scandal unearthed at National Irrigation Board

In Summary

  • An audit report for the 2015-2016 financial years shows that the Galana Kulalu irrigation project scheme launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta in January 2014 to stock the country’s food basket with 20 million bags of maize only yielded 103,000 bags.
  • This despite a whopping Ksh.7.3 billion having been pumped into the project.
  • Auditor General Edward Ouko found that the National Irrigation Board inflated the cost of leasing an acre from Ksh.300 to Ksh.3,000 per acre.

The Auditor General has unearthed a scandal at the National Irrigation Board where billions of shillings were sank into projects that yielded little for taxpayers.

An audit report for the 2015-2016 financial years for instance shows that the Galana Kulalu irrigation project scheme launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta in January 2014 to stock the country’s food basket with 20 million bags of maize only yielded 103,000 bags.

This despite a whopping Ksh.7.3 billion having been pumped into the project.

It, therefore means that more than Ksh.708,000 was used to grow maize on just one acre at the Kulalu scheme.

Auditor General Edward Ouko found that the National Irrigation Board inflated the cost of leasing an acre from Ksh.300 to Ksh.3,000 per acre.

For the five years, the taxpayer has lost a staggering Ksh.3.2 billion for leasing 20,000 acres. What’s more, only 10,000 acres of the leased land was put to use.

Twenty-one irrigation projects have so far stalled after sinking Ksh.880 million with the board already requesting for an extra Ksh.15 billion to complete the projects.

As if that is not enough, the board also failed to account for another Ksh.3.6 billion used in Mwea, Bura, Tana, Perkerra, Ahero, West Kano and Bunyala irrigation schemes.

The Kenya Revenue Authority is owed Ksh.623 million according to the report while an additional Ksh.4.1 billion is owed to contractors who did business with the  board.

The revelations coming in the wake of graft scandals at the National Youth Service, Kenya Power, Kenya Pipeline Company and the Youth Fund in which public officers looted billions of shillings.

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Story By Stephen Letoo
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