THE technical quality and sustainability of rural infrastructure-funded projects remains a grave concern.
A World Bank report findings has uncovered that in most of the projects implemented under rural infrastructure undertaken around the country have fallen short of sustainability measures.
This is despite the fact that overall quality of construction of these rural infrastructure projects are sound and could be met with the supply base in the country.
However, difficulty in accessing supplies and budget shortfalls pose a risk to the full completion of projects which must be monitored to ensure the integrity of the structures are unaffected.
The report found that despite varied financial sustainability on geographical locations, there is lack of clarity as to who is responsible for what facility and sufficient data about the extent to which maintenance funds flows from different sources.
It was further reported that projects with a business or economic activity focus typically place little emphasis on sustainability.
The report uncovered that Rural Constituency Development Fund (RCDF) measured against sustainability indicators show a very weak ranking giving rise to serious concerns.
The reason being there are no guidelines or technical reviews to ensure quality, socially and environmentally sound design and construction.
There is a mix in the application of social and environmental risk mitigation, whilst monitoring for compliance is generally weak for sustainability score rankings across the different funding programs.
Meanwhile the report recommends there should be serious considerations to review current construction codes and update seismic and cyclone design approaches and incorporate climate change adaptation approaches into any future project designs.
It further stresses the need for clarity on facility ownerships and guidance on how to budget for maintenance purposes.
The report also recommends the creation of a standard design catalogue and unit costs from across different CDFs and funding programs and to ensure projects are value for money through cost per beneficiary data collection on all projects.
By DANIEL NAMOSUAIA