The Tana River County Development Implementation and Coordination Committee (CDICC) has expressed concern over the delay in rehabilitation of roads and bridges destroyed by floods in the county last year.
The committee especially took issue with a contractor awarded a contract for the emergency reinstatement of the damaged sections at Nanighi junction and Bura along the Hola-Madogo road within Tana North Sub County.
They said the contractor, M/S Al Wahab Enterprises Limited, was too slow since he had only cleared bushes since he was awarded the tender on October 4, 2018.
A report presented to the committee by an official from Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA), North Eastern Region, indicated that the contractor had managed to clear bushes along the 19 kilometer stretch but was yet to do anything significant.
“The contractor is currently mobilising for further construction works,” the report presented by Eng. Gerald Wikanzo said to the chagrin of members the committee chaired by County Commissioner Oning’oi ole Sosio.
On the damaged bridges, Eng. Wikanzo said the matter was being handled by KeNHA Headquarters, and hoped the tendering process would begin soon to avoid inconveniences.
Sosio said he was worried the road between Bura and Madogo could become impassable during the impending long rains if the damaged sections and bridges are not rehabilitated in time.
He asked KeNHA to compel the contractor to speed up the works to avoid inconveniences during the rains, which the meteorological department has said could begin in the fourth week of March.
The contract is being executed by M/S Wahab Enterprise Limited after the first contract that had been awarded to M/S Wama Contractors was cancelled following a directive by President Uhuru Kenyatta after leaders complained about delays.
Wikanzo at the same time said his organisation was planning to build the Hola-Waldena-Mudha, a security road that is expected to connect Hola Town with Kitui.
The committee urged the National Construction Authority (NCA) to determine the capacity of contractors before classifying and registering them to undertake huge capital projects to avoid delays in executing contracts.
“NCA should endeavour to ascertain the capacity of contractors by physically inspecting their machinery before giving them any classification,” Eng. Wikanzo said.
Meanwhile, the committee has expressed its dismay over encroachment of land meant for roads construction in Hola Town.
Eng. Charles Maina of the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) said his organisation was finding it difficult to upgrade earth roads to bitumen standards within Hola Town due to encroachments on road reserves.
He also said the presence of high and low voltage power lines as well as shallow water pipes were delaying works that are expected to end by May 9, 2019.
The committee advised him to liaise with the Kenya Power Company office in Hola Town with a view to relocating the power lines.
By Emmanuel Masha