Kenyan Residents displaced as two Chinese firms feud over dam construction contract

Residents living along the Nyando River of  the Kisumu County in Kenya have been exposed to danger, with about 2000 recently displaced over delays in the construction of the Nyando Dam due to an existing dispute between two Chinese companies competing for the contract.  

Local sources revealed that the two companies, China Gezouba and China Jiangxi Economic Cooperation were awarded the tender by the Kenyan National Water Harvesting and Storage Authority (NWHSA). 

The dispute however started when China Gezhouba’s bid of Sh19.2 billion ($178 million) was rejected for its competitor’s offer of Sh19.9 billion ($184 million). Officials of China Gezhouba have petitioned the Public Procurement Review Board (PPRB) with claims that the tendering process was unfair.

Due to the unnecessary dispute between these two Chinese companies over the construction of the Sh 20 billion(approximately $185 Million) Dam, about 2000 residents were recently displaced by heavy flooding from a recent downpour. 

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Kenyan Gov’t officials and workers

Kenya’s Water and Sanitation Principal Secretary Joseph Irungu blamed the plights of these residents on the two companies whilst adding that the government has informed the Chinese government about their behavior.
“I can say that the games these companies are playing are delaying us. I have made attempts to save this project which is dear to the people of Kisumu.”  Mr. Irungu said, adding that, “the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has engaged authorities in China to inform them of the danger of dragging this matter.”

Meanwhile members of the Public Accounts Committee, Aden Duale and Dr Eseli Simiyu have accused the two Chinese firms for unduly  delaying a project that is fully funded by Kenyan taxpayers.

“These Chinese can’t come and derail our projects. We have had enough of them. We have one month to end of the current financial year,” Dr Simiyu noted. Duale on the other hand said that, “It’s a pity that when they fight and stall the project, it’s the people of Kenya who suffer. Look at the flooding in Nyando. Had this project commenced, we would have hope of ending the perennial flooding.”

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