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Report: Sh437m CCTV project in Nairobi’s CBD a massive flop

A county assembly committee report has revealed that the much-touted Sh437 million security CCTV project in Nairobi’s city centre is a massive failure despite the colossal sum of public money invested.

The Nairobi County’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report has revealed that 26 out of the 42 CCTV’s – installed in major roads such as Moi Avenue, Uhuru Highway, Kenyatta Avenue and Tom Mboya Street among others to control traffic – are not functional.

The watchdog committee report tabled by its chairman Mabatini MCA Mr Wilfred Odalo early this month, showed that the security cameras installed in Nairobi’s Central Business District (CBD) cannot be relied upon to enhance security for Nairobi residents.

“However, as observed by the Auditor General, the project has been a total failure despite a colossal sum of public money having been spent,” the 2015/2016 Auditor General’s report read in part.

The report further revealed that no information has been provided so far on the action taken to obtain the requisite equipment, previously reported as lacking to enable communication between the control centre and several surveillance points.

“Further, it has not been clarified whether the cameras are now capable of detecting motor vehicle number plates. In the circumstances, the surveillance system and security installations may still not be relied upon to enhance security for the county residents,” the report reads.

TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT

The project, dubbed Integrated Urban Surveillance System, was implemented by the Ministry of Nairobi Metropolitan with the contract awarded to M/S Nanjing Les Information Technology Limited on September, 2012.

It entailed the installation of surveillance cameras, new traffic management system, construction of a centre and installation of associated software.

The acting Nairobi County Transport and Public Works chief officer however absolved City Hall from blame in the project saying that maintenance was being handled by the implementing contractor, M/S Nanjing Les Information Technology Limited, wrestling the control over the project from the county.

The officer also told the committee that the project was yet to be handed over to the county government by the national government’s Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure.

“On June 28, 2016 we wrote to the ministry highlighting lack of maintenance of the project by the contractor and also requesting for the fast tracking the completion of the project and handover to the county for maintenance. To date the project is yet to be handed over to the county,” said the officer.

The committee has called for the county government to engage the national government and find a way of revamping the project to realize its objectives.