The Uasin Gishu County Government has put in place a new plan to improve urban roads as the push to elevate Eldoret town to city status gains momentum.
Speaking when he hosted a team from Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA), Uasin Gishu Governor Jonathan Chelilim Bii said his administration’s plan would involve the opening of drainages and tarmacking of more roads, especially within the central business district.
“Our engagement with the KURA team is key because we have roads that require urgent improvement, we want to have a smooth flow of traffic in Eldoret town,” said Governor Bii.
The urban roads for maintenance under the partnership with KURA include Bandaptai and Farmers’ Streets which will be upgraded and drainages opened to control storm waters, he added.
Other roads set to be paved under this programme include Annex- Saroiyot and several others within Eldoret town.
An ad hoc committee formed to determine whether the Uasin Gishu County Government has put in place the necessary frameworks needed to upgrade the town has already collected views from members of the public from October last year.
Bii is confident that the bid by the county to have Eldoret become Kenya’s fifth largest city would sail through considering its increasing population and the number of infrastructure already existing within the town which includes institutions of higher learning, numerous public and private health facilities, and other major government institutions.
Among the government agencies hosted in Eldoret include the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA), Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA), and Auditor-General General regional offices.
KURA Director General Eng. Silas Kinoti said the proposed maintenance of the roads would be crucial in traffic decongestion through the adoption of an Intelligent Transport System.
The governor further said that his administration was also committed to improving the road network across the county to ensure the smooth movement of goods and services to reach ready markets without a hitch.
“We have already completed over 500 kilometers of roads under the ongoing grading and graveling programme within the financial year,” said Bii.
And while commissioning the ongoing grading and graveling works at Merewet/St Vincent Road in Soy ward, Governor Bii reiterated his government’s commitment to ensure that the road network is improved across the county to enable farmers and residents to transport farm produce to markets at an affordable cost.
“This programme is being rolled out in all wards and the improved road infrastructure will enable our farmers to transport their farm products to ready markets and processing areas, in urban areas. We also want to aid in the value addition of crops and other agricultural products by improving mobility across the county,” he reiterated.
Roads, Transport and Public Works County executive committee members (CECM) Eng. Joseph Lagat said through the partnership with Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KERRA), an additional 65 roads are going to be graveled across the country.
By Kiptanui Cherono