A majority of surveillance CCTV cameras installed in the city centre are not functional , it has been revealed.
Most of the 42 CCTV cameras, installed within the Central Business District (CBD) at a cost of Sh437 million under the Integrated Urban surveillance System project for Nairobi Metropolitan Area, stopped working months after they were installed.
According to Nairobi County Roads and Public Works chief officer Engineer Fredrick Karanja, the county government cannot maintain the cameras because the project has not been officially handed over.
In May last year, it was revealed that 26 out of the 42 CCTV’s installed on major roads such as Moi Avenue, Uhuru Highway, Kenyatta Avenue and Tom Mboya Street – are not functional.
Those installed along University Way and at Lusaka Roundabout have also stopped working after they were damaged by students and a contractor respectively.
Appearing before Nairobi County Assembly Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Eng Karanja said that City Hall is unable to maintain the cameras because the project has not been handed over by the Chinese contractor .
In September 2012, the then Ministry of Nairobi Metropolitan Development awarded a contract to M/s Nanjing LES Information Technology Limited for the supply, installation, testing, commissioning and handing over of the project.
The project was conceptualized as a security project which would involve installation of security cameras, vehicle number plate recognition cameras, rehabilitation of signalized junctions and construction of one main control centre at Nairobi area police headquarters at Milimani and the redundant control centre at City Hall Annex.
Six years later, the chief officer confirmed that the project is still under the Chinese firm’s control making it untenable for the county to cater for the maintenance of the cameras.
PAY SH7.2 MILLION
Eng Karanja said the company wants to be paid Sh7.2 million before it can repair the damaged cameras and hand over the project.
“We had pledged to pay before the contractor could resume maintenance works and subsequent handover of the project to us but we are yet to settle the bill and that is why the contractor has not resumed the project maintenance,” said Karanja.
However, PAC chairman Wilfred Odalo questioned why City Hall pledged to pay for the damages even though they are not the one who caused them and in a project that they not yet own.
Eng Karanja said security in the city is a priority and that is why they made the pledge given the recent Dusit terror attack.
The committee resolved to also invite the contractor for its next sitting to shed more light on the issue.
Mac Otani joined Nation Media Group’s Digital Department in January 2, 2018. He has an experience in journalism of more than 12 years working with leading media organisations in Kenya in various capacities and on multi-media platforms.
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