Bomet county government has set aside half a billion Shillings for roads and infrastructural development in 25 wards.
Dr Barchok, speaking on Wednesday after inspecting the ongoing construction of the Sh 45.8 million Muriasi bridge connecting Boito and Kimulot wards in Konoin constituency.
The bridge measuring 36 metres long with a four-meter-wide carriage-way and 1.5 metres footpath will run through Itare river and is expected to be completed by March next year, to replace a footbridge constructed in 1958 by the colonial government.
In the past two years, the County has spent Sh 1.1 billion in the construction of roads and bridges in Bomet East, Bomet Central, Sotik, Konoin and Chepalungu counties.
Barchok said his administration was giving special attention to construction of roads and bridges in order to enable farmers to transport their fresh farm produce to their respective markets on time and make profits from their investment.
“In the last two years, the county has spent Sh 1.5 billion in the construction of five bridges and 724 kilometres of roads,” said Dr Barchok.
Five bridges estimated to cost Sh 86 million of the allocation in the last two years have been squandered with 345.5 kilometers of roads yet to be constructed in the current financial year.
A total of Sh 3.5 million of the money used in the transport and infrastructure department was drawn from the Roads Levy Maintenance Fund (RLMF) which has been used to overhaul roads in the county.
In 2017/2018 financial year, the county allocated Sh 5.5 million to construct 404.6 kilometres of roads while in the 2018/2019 fiscal year, a total of Sh 506 million was channeled towards construction of 320.3 kilometres of roads.
The Governor said the old footbridge made of timber had for decades posed a threat to the residents and especially school going children.
He called on the national treasury to increase funding for counties in order to enable the devolved government units to roll out infrastructural development.
“For decades, farmers have been unable to deliver their perishable farm produce to markets in good time, resulting in their making huge losses yet some parts of the country have gone without food as a result of prolonged droughts,” said Dr Barchok.
He added, “Counties have taken major strides in infrastructural development in the last seven years. Dr Barchok added that the country should have embraced devolution at the onset of independence as it should have ensured equitable distribution of resources.
The county has acquired a bulldozer at Sh 22 million which will be used to open up 150 kilometres of access roads in 25 wards in what would link remote areas to major roads and ease transportation of people and goods.
By Joseph Obwocha