The government has commissioned the construction of a Sh548 million bridge in Mwachade village at the borders of Msambweni and Lunga Lunga sub-counties in Kwale County.
The bridge has been broken for over six years causing threats to the lives of residents due to attacks by crocodiles, while at the same time hampering transportation of farm produce to neighbouring Kongowea market in Mombasa County.
Addressing the media in Kwale County, Principal Secretary Water, Sanitation and Irrigation Joseph Irungu who was also the chairman of the National Development Implementation Technical Committee said that the government is keen to ensure the project is completed on time. The expected time for the completion of the project is two years.
Irungu sounded a warning to the contractor that the government would not tolerate shoddy works and delays and that tough action would be taken if the project was not completed on time.
“The government won’t tolerate contractors to pull behind their efforts to better the lives of its citizens through such substantive projects. Any contractor who causes delays on these projects will face the law,” he said.
The 60m long bridge will be built across River Ramisi on Milalani –Kikoneni –Mwangulu Road which connects Lunga Lunga and Mswambweni Constituencies. In addition, the bridge will be connected to both sides by 1km approach roads.
Initially, steel truss panels and decks have been put across the river to aid the movement of people but they were dislodged from the substructures and swept downstream by floods in 2017.
The PS urged the contractor to use available resources from the area including human labour to empower the local community.
“The people of Mwachande must benefit from this project. I want to see them working here and the government through its local administrators will monitor every progress,” Irungu said.
Lunga Lunga Constituency MP Khatib Mwashetani lauded the government for the project saying that farmers from the constituency have been incurring losses due to the delays during the transportation of their produce to the market.
“Once the project is completed, it will transform the lives of the locals. Farmers will get money to support their households,” Mwashetani said.
He urged the government to keenly supervise the contractor so that the project could be completed on time. The construction work is under the Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA).
By Chari Suche and Raymond Zaka