A team from ministry of water and environment on friday fled for their lives from angry residents in Katakwi district who threatened to beat them up for alleged shoddy work on a 500million Shilling valley tank.
The ministry officials had gone to plant couch grass for controlling erosion at the valley tank constructed in Palam sub-county in Katakwi district but resident stopped the officials, saying the work was not worth the 500million Shillings.
The ministry officials responded rudely according to the locals, who mobilizes sharp objects and started chasing the ministry officials from the site.
The chairman of the valley tank management committee, Levi Chaire, said they were not convinced with the work done in the valley tank.
“We had agreed with the ministry officials that the valley tank be fenced with chain link, but instead they changed to planting couch grass, not even what was in the plan, so when we tried to ask them they become so rude and intimidated us, that’s why the community become angry with them,” he said.
Mr Chaire said until they see the design of the valley tank from the ministry officials they will not accept what has been constructed.
Abdu Okeng, the district councilor representing Palam sub county said the ministry of water officials have taken people of Katakwi for granted.
He said they have made several attempts to demand for bills of quantities and also a valley tank design from the ministry of water engineers but they have refused to comply.
“We are told this project cost the government 500million Shillings but honestly, even if we are not engineers, what is on the ground is not worthy the amount of money budgeted for the valley tank,” he said.
John Omoding, a resident in the area said the valley tank was posing a threat to their livestock since it is not even fenced.
“What’s on the ground now is that the so called engineers from the ministry of water and environment are fencing the dam with soil and we are wandering what type of fencing that is,”he said.
Geoffrey Omolo the district chairperson Katakwi, said he has failed to understand how the ministry of water and environment operates when it comes into projects in Teso region.
“Something must be wrong somewhere in the Ministry of water, there is need for an audit into what the ministry of water is doing in Teso districts,” he said.
Charles Muwonge, the public relations officer in the Ministry of water and environment, said he was out of office for treatment and doesn’t know much about the project.