The Kenya Water Towers Agency (KWTA), on Monday, dismissed claims that Ksh147 million was spent on a bamboo tree nursery in Kaptagat, Uasin Gishu County.
In a statement signed by KWTA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Julius Tanui, the agency explained that the money was used in various bamboo sites across the country.
Additionally, Tanui explained that the amount was spent over a 5-year period and not only in 2023.
This was in line with implementing a 10-year Bamboo Commercialization and Investment Project funded by the Government of Kenya, according to the agency.
“The project was conceptualised as an alternative livelihood support project aimed at reducing pressure on water tower ecosystems,” the agency explained.
Tanui added that the money was used for feasibility studies, public participation, surveys, demarcation and fencing, as well as capacity building.
Part of the money was allocated to the bamboo stock establishment, community bamboo nurseries, hydrological survey, borehole drilling and equipping, site-species matching, inspection, and monitoring and evaluation.
While KWTA refuted claims that it had used Ksh147 million in one tree nursery, the Agency did not provide information on how much money has been spent on the Kaptagat tree nursery.
The Agency claimed it had other Bamboo tree nurseries in Elgeyo Marakwet, Nandi, Migori, Nyeri, Nyandarua, Narok and Bomet Counties.
Kenya Water Towers Agency (KWTA) has been on the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission's (EACC) radar over possible misappropriation of taxpayers' money.
On November 10, EACC requested Tanui to provide documents and information on how much money was used on the National Bamboo Growing Demonstration at Kaptagat Forest.
“KWTA is in the process of complying with the request from EACC. It was not a summon as reported,” the Agency defended itself.
Tanui further remarked that over the years, the project had been subjected to various audits by the Office of Auditor General with no conclusive reports issued.