The Government will construct over 250 kilometres of rural roads in Kirinyaga at a total cost of Sh 9.5 billion.
Speaking during inspection of roads under Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KERRA), in Mwea Constituency over the weekend, Infrastructure Principal Secretary (PS), Prof. Paul Maringa, said the government is determined to ensure all feeder roads are tarmacked.
Maringa said completion of the roads will boost the economy, especially in transportation of rice, which is the main cash crop in the area.
Maringa noted the contractors are already on site and that they are under firm instruction to complete the projects within the agreed time limits.
He added that during the construction period the contracted company will source raw materials from the local area as well as human labour.
“You have seen the contractor has camped here and we shall complete the projects in time,” Maringa assured.
“They are under strict instructions that they get construction raw materials from Mwea people, including labour from both genders,” PS Maringa said.
The PS noted that in the past construction has been delayed but they have put all measures in place to ensure that the projects run smoothly.
“Construction has been delaying in past due to decisions made, but here we have provided funds from this Financial Year, which will keep them working till other funds from next Financial Year are disbursed,” he added
KERRA Director General, Engineer Philemon Kandie, who accompanied the PS said the roads under construction are distributed across the county to ensure the entire region is developed.
According to Eng. Kandie the Sagana-Thigu-Kirwara-Kagio road of 54km will cost
Sh. 2.1 billion, same as Piai- Murinduku 55 km road.
Others include Kutus-Kimbimbi stretching 66km and will cost Sh 2.3 billion, Piai- Mbiri Sh. 2b, 53km and Mutithi-Kagio, 65KM, costing Sh3 billion.
“We are doing roads in different categories like Kenha for highways, KURA for urbans and here today KERRA for rural development. The 256km in Kirinyaga will be distributed across all Sub-counties” Kandie said
Area Member of Parliament, Kabinga Wathayu, thanked the government for allocating funds for the rural roads in the area. He said the land value has increased even before the completion of Kirwara-Kagio road.
“The Government has delivered the promise of having tarmac roads in Mwea. The cost of land has increased, almost triple for now,” Kabinga noted.
Kabinga said once the government operationalizes Wang’uru airstrip, the movement of goods and services will be more efficient.
He added that the government will also revive the stalled Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) project in Mwea.
“We have an airstrip which will boost our economy once it starts working. As leaders we will ensure KEMRI is constructed despite challenges we faced in the past,” he said.
By Mutai Kipng’etich