The national government has expressed its satisfaction with the progress of two flagship infrastructure projects in Malindi and Magarini sub counties of Kilifi County being constructed at a total cost of about Sh4 billion.
Nine Principal Secretaries who are members of the National Development Implementation Technical Committee (NDITC) toured the Sh1.3 billion Marikebuni-Marafa-Sosoni road project in Magarini Sub County and the Sh2.55 billion Baricho Bridge and its approach roads Tuesday and expressed confidence that the projects would be ready before July this year.
They were led by Health Principal Secretary Ms. Susan Mochache who said the projects, which she described as President Uhuru Kenyatta’s flagship projects, would be ready before the end of the president’s tenure in office.
“We have noted that the Marikebuni-Marafa-Sosoni road is 98 per cent complete while the Baricho Bridge and its approach roads are over 90 per cent completed, and we are confident that the two projects will be completed before the end of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s tenure,” Mochache said.
Mochache assured the contractors implementing the two projects that the government would honour its obligation of paying outstanding contractual amounts of money and urged them to continue with the work.
“We have noted some challenges, including delayed payments, but we assure the contractors that the government, through The National Treasury, will honour its obligations,” she said.
She said the completion of the two flagship projects would open up Malindi and Magarini sub counties for development as it would be easier to transport goods and people across the two sub counties that are separated by the River Galana/Sabaki.
“These two projects are very important to the residents of this area. They are among the president’s flagship projects which he started and would like to see them completed before the end of his term and we can confirm that before August, most of the projects we have seen will have been completed,” she said.
“We have noted good progress and we are very happy to note that there are no significant challenges and the fact that all these projects will be completed by April is a good thing although the full bridge and its connecting are expected to take up to around July,” Mochache said.
Members of the team included Principal Secretaries Mochache, Nelson Marwa, Belio Kipsang, Hamadi Boga, Esther Koimet, Josephetha Mukobe, Micha Powon, Dr. Kevit Desai, and Ibrahim Mohamed.
They were conducted on the tour by senior officials from the Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA) and the National Government Administration led by County Commissioner Kutswa Olaka, who is also the chairman of the Kilifi County Development Implementation and Coordination Committee (CDICC).
A representative the contractor, A. A. Bayusuf and Sons Limited, which is doing the Marikebuni-Marafa-Sosoni road, said the work would be completed within one month if the government paid all the outstanding payments.
The team however noted that some parts of the road had already started developing potholes, but Eng. Timothy Kendagor, the Kilifi Regional KeRRA Director, said the contractor would ensure the road is in good shape before it is officially commissioned.
“The contractor has been given a three-year contract to maintain the road, and we are sure everything will be in order before the project is officially commissioned,” he said.
The team then toured the Baricho Bridge and its approach roads being constructed by the China Railways Number 10 Engineering Group where Site Engineer Allan Karanja of the Kenya Rural Roads Authority said the bridge would be completed by February.
Eng. Karanja however said the contractor was on slow progress due to delayed payments and that was why the approach roads could continue to the end of the financial year.
By Emmanuel Masha and Charity Wangechi