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Governor Lomorukai leads ground breaking of 3km Lodwar bitumen roads

Residents of Lodwar Township will soon have a reason to smile after governor Jeremiah Lomorukai led a ground breaking of 3 kilometres bitumen roads in the town on Thursday.

The roads will now bring the total number of tarmacked roads by county government and Kenya Urban Roads Authority to 13km within the municipality.

The tarmacked roads will be accompanied by non motorised transport facilities, drainage works and street lights.

The governor who was accompanied by his deputy Dr John Erus, county commissioner Julius Kavita and speaker of the county assembly Christopher Nakuleu and a host of MCAs and senior county executive staff members said the project will costs Sh195 million.

The roads to be upgraded include 660m Rubis-St Kelvins secondary school road, 280m Kataboi hardware – Midwest Hotel backstreet road, 690m cooperative bank roundabout- Lodwar Lodge- St Theresa junction, 340M Kilimanjaro street, 400M Lorugum bar street, as well as five connector roads totaling to 610M.

He said the initiative was part of his administration’s commitment to enhancing the status of the municipality in the county.

“For too long the residents of Lodwar have endured numerous challenges caused by unpaved roads, road dust, mud, and even surfaces that have hindered travel and economic growth,’ he said.

He added that the upgraded streets will be more durable, cater for heavy traffic and withstand adverse weather conditions and ensure more safety and comfort of motorists.

“Improved road infrastructure is crucial for attracting investment, facilitating trade, and unlocking endless opportunities for our local businesses,” said the governor.

He identified the continued improvement of all streets within Lodwar municipality, improved firefighting services, beautification of the town, enhancement of market places and the transfer of all gazetted municipality functions to the municipality as the key priority areas in the current financial year.

The board of management has allocated Sh30 million in the next financial year for beautification of Lodwar and its environs.

He said the county government is in the second phase of land regularization of Lodwar municipality. Stage three shall culminate in land owners getting land titles.

In terms of land registration, the county has covered Turkana East, Loima, and Turkana south.

Sixteen communities have already received land registration certificates for the community land citing Kapese community as one such which has been surveyed and demarcated.

County commissioner Julius Kavita challenged the residents to take advantage of the new development of the road infrastructure and embrace a 24-hour economy.

“I challenge you to aim at becoming a city as other counties are doing like our neighbours Eldoret,” he said.

He said the national government has allocated Sh59 million for construction of a market at Lokichar, Turkana south sub county.

Responding to calls to sensitise the public especially road users on road safety to curb accidents, the county commissioner said his office had engaged Kenha engineers with a view to sensitizing road users especially bodaboda operators on road safety.

At the same time the county commissioner called for inclusion of minorities in the job opportunities both skilled and semi-skilled.

Speaker of the County Assembly Christopher Nakuleu had faulted the Lodwar municipality board of not ensuring inclusion of the minority groups in the board.

“The municipality board should reflect the face of Lodwar where we have many communities,” said Nakuleu.

Roads county executive committee member Patrick Lokaimoe said the three kilometer bitumen road was part of the governor’s nine-point development agenda.

Lokaimoe decried understaffing at the ministry and requested for more technical staff to be employed and more interns.

“We only have five engineers who are employed on permanent and pensionable basis, this means we are unable to decentralize our services to our people,’ he said.

He pledged to ensure the project is supervised to ensure residents get value for money.

County executive committee members in charge of Lands, Physical planning and Urban development Peter Akono said he will work with the Roads ministry to ensure the works are complete within the six months.

He pleaded with the county government for additional allocation for Lodwar municipality saying the Sh35 million allocated in the current financial year to the Lodwar municipality was inadequate.

By Peter Gitonga

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