The government is staring at a Ksh208 million loss as it is planning to dispose hatcheries bought with taxpayers’ money in 2012, since they have become obsolete.
This was revealed by Youth Enterprise Development Fund CEO Josiah Moriasi who appeared before the National Assembly’s committee on Special Funds, to explain about the hatching machines that have been lying idle for over seven years now.
The hatcheries were bought in 2012 for youth groups in 210 constituencies, but were never distributed to the groups to date.
Instead of being issued to the groups, the hatcheries were kept in government stores in Nairobi and Mombasa where they are said to have rusted and become obsolete.
In Nairobi, the hatcheries were kept at the Kasarani stadium storage facility where the Fund has been paying Ksh1 million annually in storage fees.
“The machines are there at Kasarani and we continue to get invoices from the stadia management to pay storage fee. We will dispose the machines even at a lower price,” Mr Moriasi said.
This means that the fund has lost at least Ksh7 million for the years the machines have been at the facility.
The MPs however decided to first see the machines in Mombasa and in Nairobi, to ascertain their presence.
“We need to visit Kasarani and Mombasa to see the hatcheries because we might be paying storage fees for things that are not there,” said the committee chairman Kathuri Murungi, the MP for South Imenti.
Out of the 1,050 hatcheries bought through the fund, only 144 hatcheries were given out. The 906 remaining hatches worth Ksh172million were stored at Kasarani stadium.
“As at June 30, 2015 only 144 hatcheries had been sold. That is about 13 per cent of the hatcheries of the 1,050 which were bought. It means the demand for them is very low and a greater amount can turn out to be obsolete due to the fast-changing technology,” read a 2014 report by the auditor general.