Marsabit town which was recently upgraded to a municipality is set to acquire new standing when tarmacking of over 10 kilometers of road network is completed.
The project by the National government located in Majengo area is part of the larger plan to upgrade roads in the county to bitumen standard for enhanced development and improved standards of living for the residents.
The county development implementation coordination committee (CDICC) inspected the construction works which started two months ago and was impressed by the progress so far made despite a number of challenges.
Marsabit County Commissioner Paul Rotich called on stakeholders to move with speed and remove handles that were impending on the advancement of the Sh 705.8 million project.
The committee found that the contractor, MIBASA limited who moved to the site two months ago has covered 4 percent of the project scope with the supervising Engineer Tony Mutiso saying much ground could have been covered by now were it not for encroachment into the road reserves.
Eng Mutiso said that the residents who have invested on the road reserves were not cooperating hoping they would be compensated if they stay put.
He told the CDICC that it was possible for the company to complete the project in one year if the Survey and Lands adjudication departments could help the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) to execute the road design without any hindrance.
The committee was surprised to see permanent storey buildings, concrete walls and live fences built on road reserves while water, sewerage and power lines have been done right in the middle of reserves meant for the carriageway.
KURA regional director Eng. Daniel Nderitu said the project though on course was facing hundles and urged entities concerned to relocate water, power and communication cable lines.
Eng Nderitu pointed out that even waterways were on human occupation while the invasion of road reserves was making it difficult for the contractor to develop the necessary drainage outfall wayleaves.
“We are doing a six meters carriageway with two meters wide footpaths on both sides but as you can see the area left on the road reserve is less than nine meters,” the director explained and called for an immediate meeting among main stakeholders to straighten the matter.
The committee also noted with delight that some of the residents who are affected by the project had heeded the call by the government to shift their fences and mason walls while others have relocated buildings into their plots.
The county commissioner who is also the chairman of the CDICC assured the residents that the push to pave way for the project would be done with a human face adding that nobody would be made to lose property which they had genuinely acquired.
Mr Rotich however ruled out any compensation for buildings to be demolished or enclosures that would be removed to pave way for the project because they are built on road reserves.
The CC said a crisis meeting for the affected plot owners, the local leadership, relevant land department offices, the contractor and KURA would be convened this week to address the matter.
By Sebastian Miriti