The Nairobi Regional Development Implementation Coordination Committee (RDICC) has vowed to pull out all bottlenecks hindering the completion of ongoing national government projects in the county.
Nairobi County Commissioner Flora Mworoa on Wednesday led committee members on a site visit of the stalled 17.2-km missing link roads and non-motorized transport facilities in the County funded by the Kenya government in collaboration with the European Union at a cost of over Sh4.5 billion.
Mworoa said the works has stalled for over three years on some roads due to encroachment of road reserves, court injunctions related to land acquisition, traders occupying walkways and mechanics turning Gikomba road into a garage.
The committee members who also included the Committee’s Secretary, Mr. Humphrey Ngunjiri from the Presidential Delivery Unit lamented the project that commenced in May 2014 was due for completion in November 2016.
Members recommended that Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) sets aside a budget for doing the roads that have challenges as the contractor proceeds with roads that have no issues, and gave the contractor, Reynolds Construction Company Ltd up to October this year to complete the project.
Ms. Mworoa said the government will ensure that all public land in the county is used for the intended purpose and cautioned members of the public against encroaching and engaging in illegal acquisition of public land.
“For the project to meet the deadline I urge the contractor to continue with the work in other parts while the issues stalling the projects are sorted out,” said Ms. Mworoa.
She commended KURA for the good works done on the Muratina Street road in Mathare area that links First Avenue, Thika Road, Eastlands and General Waruinge road and urged motorists to utilize the road to decongest other roads.
Mr. Ngunjiri said the main purpose of constructing the missing link roads was to decongest roads in Westlands, Thika Road and Industrial Area, and to enhance Limuru road, and cautioned that if the Deep Sea encroachment problem and the land acquisition issues both in Westlands are not resolved, the project will not have achieved the intended purpose.
He told KURA to initiate another financing agreement for doing the roads that have been omitted in the ongoing contract due to the hurdles the contractor is encountering.
Engineer Priscillah Ngetich from Kenya Urban Roads Authority said KURA has omitted the Accra Road Extension due to a sewer line problem and Ring Road Parklands Extension to Thika Road due to encroachment of a road reserve and the quarry road that has been turned into a garage.
“Obstacles created by informal settlements and court cases have made the former design of the Interchange Likoni-Enterprise road to change from an underpass to an overpass to avoid a lot of land acquisition and drainage issues,” said Ms. Ngetich.
Eng. Ng’etich said Lusaka road is complete while Muratina Street and its extension to Thika road is 97 percent complete; Likoni Road is 95 percent complete, Enterprise Road Extension (Homabay road Junction to Likoni road) is 91 percent complete, Interchange Likoni/Enterprise is 75 percent complete while Ring Road Parklands to Limuru Road is 57 percent complete.
The contractor assured the committee that the project will be completed by October since the outstanding payments has been settled.
Ms. Mworoa said all individuals who have encroached the road reserves will have to be evicted in order to meet the deadline of the project.
The committee was informed that adverse influence from Amnesty International who have been defending the Deep Sea Slum residents has been the major cause of delays in the completion of the road, a matter that has caused the government to incur more expenditure in maintaining the contractor.
According to Nairobi Eastern Missing Link Project Manager Eng. David Mutuohoro, the delay has caused a variation of the value of the whole project from the initial Sh4.5 billion to Sh5.4 billion.
By Bernadette Khaduli