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Kajiado opens new bridge connecting three Sub-counties

A multi- million bridge linking three Sub-counties in Kajiado County has been unveiled.

The Paai Bridge constructed across River Orkeriai connects three wards: Matapato North (Kajiado Central), Mbirikani/Eselenkei (Kajiado South) and Kenyawa Poka Ward in Kajiado East Sub-county.

The three Wards share a marram road that leads them across the river. The Orkeriai River, the largest seasonal river in the area, normally bursts its banks during the rainy seasons, threatening the lives of those who dare to cross it.

The Bridge, built at a cost of Sh. 100 million by the County Government, is set to ease movement of people and goods within the three wards.

Kajiado Governor, Joseph Lenku, said the Bridge will boost economic and social interactions among residents, who previously got cut-off completely, when the River Orkeriai burst its banks.

Speaking during its unveiling, Lenku said the Bridge will open up the area, thus change the lives of the residents economically.

He noted that before the construction of the Bridge, farmers were cut off from markets during the rainy season and they would incur losses as their produce rot in the farms.

“This Bridge will transform this area economically. Just a year ago when it rained, trucks full of horticultural produce could get stuck at the river for days unable to cross thus resulting in huge losses for farmers and traders,” said Lenku.

The Governor revealed that the Paai Bridge transcends regional boundaries to transform the livelihoods of residents, by opening up the horticultural belts of Kajiado South, Central and East Sub-counties.

Local residents welcomed the unveiling of the bridge adding that previously it took days to cross the bridge during the rainy season.

They said they were unable to access hospitals, livestock markets and national and county government offices at Mashuuru, Loitokitok and Kajiado town as they got completely cut-off.

The residents said over the years many people, including school pupils, had lost their lives with livestock and vehicles swept away as they attempted to cross the flooded river.

One of the residents, Micah Narasha, said the Bridge was long overdue as their normal day to day operations are interrupted when the seasonal river bursts its banks.

Narasha said during the rainy season, no one could get into the villages or leave until the water reduced to a level where they could wade across.

“Before the bridge was built, farmers could not access their farms and residents from the three wards could not access outside markets for days until the water levels went down,” said Narasha.

John Lemomo, a herder, said many residents had lost their livestock over the years during the rainy season.

Lemomo revealed that he lost 30 goats and five (5) cows in 2015 when he tried to cross the river and he was glad that with the construction of the new bridge no more livestock would be lost.

By Rop Janet

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