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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Puzzle over 10km Kenya-Somalia border wall that cost over ksh 3.5 Billion.

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The Kenyan government initially planned to build a complex wall to run about 700km along the border to fend off constants attacks from Somalia-based militant group, Alshabaab.

But the “wall”, which was meant to stop al-Shabab militants from crossing into Kenya, has ended up being a wire fence that is only 10km long and its contractors have already squandered a whopping Sh3.5B around Sh300 Million per kilometer.

To put it in perspective this is more than double the amount of money the Kenyan government has put aside for its strategic food reserves this year.

Kenya’s parliament has now suspended construction and is demanding an investigation into the project.

Speaking in parliament, some politicians questioned how effective a wire fence could really be at keeping militants out of the country.

Others went further and said that they suspected corruption – specifically, that officials may have taken advantage of the threat from al-Shabab in order to steal money from the public.

John Mbadi, Minority Leader in Kenya’s National Assembly, said that a physical wall was a waste of funds, adding: “Kenya should not be funding the construction of such a wall but investing in intelligence-gathering technology to limit attacks caused by al-Shabab.”

Parliament has now blocked any further allocation of funds to the fence and has demanded that the state explains where the millions of dollars spent so far have gone.

The fence has been built under the supervision of Kenya’s military, and their accounts are classified.

The government said it would build a 708km wall made up of a series of concrete barriers, fences, ditches, and observation posts overlooked by CCTV stations.

Five years later, there is a chain-link and barbed wire fence that is just 10km long – a far cry from the mega-wall that was initially promised

Under this plan, the wall was meant to stretch from the Indian Ocean all the way to the border region of Mandera, where Kenya and Somalia meet Ethiopia.

Kenya had suffered a series of devastating attacks at the hands of al-Shabab – including, a massacre in Garissa that left 142 people dead and another one in Mandera in which 36 non-Muslims were killed which

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