A newly released parliamentary report has exposed the sorry physical state of Kenya’s foreign missions and residences of ambassadors in different foreign countries.
The report reveals how embassies in the United States, including New York and Washington, DC have turned old and dilapidated due to lack of maintenance.
The report prepared by Parliament’s Defence and Foreign Relations Committee which is chaired by Katoo Ole Metito particularly singled out the Kenyan Embassy in Washington DC and the Permanent Mission in New York.
The team compiled the document after conducting visits to Kenya’s permanent missions in Viena Austria, Russia, Washington DC, Los Angeles Consular, Kenya High Commission in Ottawa, Canada and embassies in South Korea, China and Japan.
The committee described the premises hosting the Kenyan Embassy in Washington DC as “greatly deteriorated with passage of time and in comparison with neighbouring structures, it stands out as neglected.”
“The wooden windows have deteriorated with passage of time and battering by elements of weather and require to be replaced with modern aluminum glazed windows. This being a historical building, care must be taken to preserve the nature of facades,” the committee said.
“The iron sheet roof and supporting structure had deteriorated extensively and there was evidence of general leakages. Gutters and down water pipes were extensively corroded. Most of the ceilings have evidence of previous damages associated with leakages from the roof,” the report further reads.
The building housing the Washington, DC embassy was constructed in 1930’s and the committee has recommended funds be set aside for its refurbishment.
On the Permanent Mission to the UN in New York, the house team suggests the ministry of Foreign Affairs renovates or demolishes it and set up more houses for the staff to save on high rent the mission is currently incurring in renting apartments.
Kenyan mission at the UN in Geneva have often had their salaries delayed due to delays by the Treasury to disburse funds on time, the report says.
“The mission (Geneva) has not been able to replace unserviceable furniture and equipment both at the chancery and in the staff houses, and most officers live in unfavourable conditions,” adds the report.
The committee visited the embassies between April 19th and June 22nd, 2018.