County Development Implementation Coordination Committee (CDICC) has expressed its dissatisfaction over the slow pace of the construction works in four major roads in Makueni County.
The committee said upgrading to bitumen of Tawa-Itangini (30kms), Kali-Kikima-Utangwa (56kms) and Sultan Hamud-Kikoko (33kms) and Katuaa-Nunguni (19.8km) roads were behind schedule despite the availability of funds.
However, speaking during the CDICC meeting at the County Commissioner’s (CC) boardroom on Friday, Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA) Engineer Francis Kimenye said that works for Kikima-Utangwa road were yet to commence and disclosed the Authority was sourcing for another contractor.
“Works on the three roads are at a slow base with the percentage of the complete works standing at 60 percent (Sultan-Kikoko), 41.6 percent (Katuaa –Nunguni) and 10 percent (Tawa-Itangini) roads,” said Eng. Kimenye in the meeting that was chaired by Makueni CC Mr. Mohammed Maalim.
The Engineer attributed the delay of works on Tawa-Itangini road to subcontracting while the delay on Katuaa-Nunguni was due to use of manual labour as agreed in the contract that is funded jointly by the national government and the European Union.
On his part, Maalim complained of poor supervision of the roads as most of the Resident Engineers were based in Machakos and Chuka leading to complacency on the part of the contractors.
He particularly took issue with the contractor for failing to provide an alternative for motorists to use as they continued to upgrade the road which started January 20, 2018.
“Motorists using the road are experiencing difficulties due to lack of diversions and besides the road is dusty as the contractor was not sprinkling water as required,” said Maalim.
He urged the Director General of KeRRA to expedite the process of re-awarding the contract for Kali-Utangwa road to avoid further delay.
At the same time, the administrator called for a review of KeRRA’s organisational structure to bring the resident engineers closer for easy supervision of the roads hence accelerating the works.
The Tawa-Itangine road will be constructed at a cost of Sh 1.6 billion, Kali-Utangwa, Sh 2.8 billion, Sultan Hamud–Kikoko Sh 1.4 billion and Katuaa-Nunguni Sh 500 million respectively.
Speaking at the same meeting, Konza Techno polis City Civil Engineer Francis Mwangi said the Konza Complex funded at a cost of Sh 1.02 billion was 95 percent complete and is expected to be commissioned in June 2019.
He however, noted that lack of adequate supply of water and power to the smart city was a major a challenge which should be fast tracked.
“Construction of horizontal infrastructure which includes access roads, water and sewerage are ongoing,” said Eng. Mwangi.
Mwangi disclosed that the South Korean government had granted Sh 9.8 billion to construct the Kenya Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) saying the designs were at advanced stages.
“The designs are almost complete and works are expected to take nine months to complete,” he said.
By Patrick Nyakundi