The government has constructed a 21.7 kilometres of roads, missing link roads and Non-Motorized Transport (NMT) facilities in Nairobi County in its commitment to easing communication networks in both rural and urban areas.
The road projects undertaken by the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) include the government funded 4.5 kilometre Waiyaki Way-Red Hill Link road at a cost of over Sh.3 billion and the 17.2 kilometre missing link roads and non-motorized transport facilities funded by the government and European Union grant at a cost of over Sh.4.5 billion.
Briefing the Nairobi County Development Implementation Co-ordination Committee during an inspection visit of government funded projects, Deputy Director in-charge of urban roads development construction at KURA Eng. Justus Morara said Waiyaki Way-Red Hill Link road that commenced on 14th March 2016 will be opened to the public by the end of March this year.
“Waiyaki Way- Red Hill Construction works is 90 percent complete, the only works remaining are minor like putting pathways for pedestrian use, landscaping, installation of street lighting, bridge finishing and road markings, ” he said.
The site visit led by Nairobi County Commissioner Flora Mworoa, who is the chair of the committee, also included, Kinoti Gatobu from the Presidential Delivery Unit as well as Rebecca Butalanyi and Mackenzie Kiilu from the National Development Implementation and Technical Committee Secretariat.
Eng. Morara noted that the new road is generating a lot of traffic, a matter that has promoted KURA to consider re-carpeting another 16 kilometres which he said, will require extra Sh600 million on top of the initial project funding in order to address the adjacent roads and improve drainage.
The Waiyaki Way- Red Hill Dual carriageway whose contractor is China Wu Yi Company Limited starts at ABC, Waiyaki Way Place through Kyuna, Spring Valley, Kitsuru, Peponi ending at Red Hill and will connect Ruaka, Village Market and Wangige roads.
Meanwhile, the Missing Links roads and NMT facilities being constructed by Reynolds Construction Company Limited include Likoni/Enterprise road, Parklands Ring road, Rabai road, Quarry road, Muratina Road, Lusaka road, Accra Road, Limuru-Thika Road and M5A (Juja-Thika Road).
Speaking at the site, Nairobi Eastern Missing Link Project Manager, Eng. David Mutuohoro told the committee that the construction works which commenced on May 2014 will be completed by April 2019.
However, he announced that the Missing Link roads and NMT facilities has stalled at Deep Sea area due to encroachment by people who have constructed structures along the road and those doing curio businesses in around Westlands area.
The committee was informed that pressure from Amnesty International who have been defending the Deep Sea Slum residents from moving out of the area has been the major cause of delay in the completion of the road, making the government to incur more expenditure in maintaining the contractor.
Eng. Mutuohoro further noted that the delay has caused a variation of the value of the whole project from the initial Sh.4.5 billion to Sh.5.4 billion, which may increase even further in case of more delay.
He also cited delay of relocation of power lines and water/sewer networks, court injunction relating to land acquisition, traders occupying walkways and cycle track as some of the hurdles affecting the completion.
On the Digital Literacy Program (DLP), the team visited Pangani Primary School to check on the progress of the learning devices, but found out that despite the government’s effort in equipping schools with the resources, some school heads were not taking good care of the gadgets.
The School’s headmaster, John Njenga told the committee that some devices were stolen and the matter was reported to the police.
The County Commissioner asked the headmaster to take a personal initiative of making sure that pupil of the school benefit fully from the project.
“The government has invested a lot of resources in the digital learning for standard one pupils and it is only fair that they get trained for them to be at per with others in other parts of the country,” Mworoa stressed.
She also urged the local community to support the project and report those stealing the devices to the authorities as the project aimed at helping their children advance in digital education.
On the housing project, the team visited the Ngara- Parkroad housing project where Ibrahim Hussein, Director Administration Housing said after its completion, civil servants and other Kenyans interested in the houses will apply depending on the size of house one needs.
By Bernadette Khaduli/Simon Githogori