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Eldoret town bypass falls behind schedule

Issuance of notice to all property owners affected by the Eldoret town bypass who have been compensated should be expedited to free land to enable the contractor access more working space.
In a report presented during a site visit of the flagship project by members of County Development Implementation and Coordination Committee (CDICC), the project resident engineer Joseph Gichuru said the contractor was constrained from working space at the moment with most machinery lying idle.
Out of the 32 kilometres of Eldoret town road bypass project, the contractor is only in possession of 2.8km to work on.
Gichuru said delays in payment of compensation for affected properties and Project Affected People (PAPs) was affecting the progress of the project.
The project is at only 17% completion with 60% time frame elapsed, it will take a miracle for the bypass to be completed by August 2020 as planned, which is a major concern, said Gichuru.
The bypass which starts at Cheplaskei centre along the Eldoret – Nakuru highway and terminates at Leseru, the junction of Eldoret-Kitale road and Eldoret – Webuye highway is jointly funded by the African Development Bank and the Government of Kenya at a cost of Sh 5.079 billion. The works’ contract is being undertaken by China Wu Yi Construction Company.
So far only Sh 413 million has been paid for 182 properties out of 1025 properties affected by the project. The Kenya National Highways Authority, KeNHA has released Sh 671 million to the National Lands Commission to pay 253 PAPs.
However Gichuru said payments and issuance of notice to owners to vacate the paid for land was done in a fragmented manner leading to few continuous section made available for works execution.
The National Lands Commission however explains that the main cause for the fragmented payments were unresolved land ownership documents among families, incomplete succession cases and missing land documents.
A director with the Presidents Delivery Unit (PDU) Timothy Kilimo said there was need for continuous engagement with land owners who have been partially compensated to be convinced to cede the affected sections of the land to the contractor so that work can continue.
Major landmarks that will be included in the project are three interchanges at Cheplaskei centre, Kapseret along the Eldoret-Kapsabet and Leseru interchange at maili Tisa, and a 144m long bridge across Lemook swamp.
By Kiptanui Cherono

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