Kirinyaga County Government roads improvement program has opened up the interior parts of the county for sustained social and economic development.
Kirinyaga Governor Ann Waiguru said for the last three years the county has covered close to 1,500 kilometers of roads across the county. Of these, 250 kilometers were put under murram while 1,250 have been graded.
Waiguru said last financial year, the county improved 21 roads covering 1,100 kilometers whereby 201 kilometers were murramed and 900 kilometers were graded.
“Good roads have led to improved household incomes since families can easily transport their farm produce, such as bananas, vegetables, and rice to the market,” she said.
The governor said accessibility within the local towns has also been improved making it easy for people to look for jobs in nearby towns and easily commute from their homes.
“We cannot talk about road improvement without considering construction of bridges,” the governor said.
She said construction of bridges is a critical component in the road improvement program since it creates a connection for areas previously separated by rivers and enhances the exchange of goods and services across the rivers.
Waiguru said residents from Murinduko ward in Mwea East Sub County could now easily link with their counterparts in the larger Mwea area including Wanguru town after the completion of Mahiga-ini- Mwatha-ini Bridge.
She said the bridge has brought relief to residents who have had to endure using a makeshift bridge to cross Nyamindi River posing a risk to their lives and making transport an expensive affair.
“The bridge is expected to spur economic growth by easing transportation of agricultural produce to the market and increasing employment opportunities in the transport sector such as Boda boda,” she said.
The governor said before the completion of the bridge, area residents from both sides would travel 14 kilometers to Wang’uru Market.
This is because their nearest market, Ngurubani, which is only seven kilometers away, remained cut off by Nyamindi River. The distance and the transport cost have now been cut by half.
The link has also come in handy to hundreds of Boda boda operators who earn a living through the transport business. They no longer have to fear slipping into the river as it was the case when using the makeshift bridge.
Waiguru speaking on Saturday during a visit to Mwea said access to public institutions such as schools and health facilities has also greatly improved.
By Irungu Mwangi