Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA) will plant trees in 24.4 hectares of land allocated by Kenya Forest Service (KFS) to compensate for the ones that fell during road construction.
The Sh.1.3 billion road which is being upgraded to bitumen standard connects Kibigos market to junction B37 and Kokwongoi to Chebororwa passing through the forest which is under management of Kenya Forest Service (KFS).
During the County Development Implementation Coordination Committee (CDICC) meeting, Resident Engineer Laban Ngigi said that Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA) would plant trees in the land allocated by KFS as provided for in an earlier agreement.
He noted that the road construction is currently at 49.98% which is way behind schedule as completion was projected to end by August of this year.
He attributed the delays to the stalemate between KeRRA and KFS who did not want more trees to be cut to pave way for the road construction.
The issue of the need to cut more trees in the entire forest stretch to pave way for construction will be re-escalated to the National Development Implementation Coordination Committee (NDICC) through the Regional Commissioner to come up with solutions as follow up to a letter written to KFS in regarding the same.
In order to fast tract the road construction, the contractor has been advised to begin work in sections that have no issues with forest access and structural works such as box culverts which could commence between Kokwongoi and Chebororwa.
The Director Presidential Unit (PDU) Timothy Kilimo said works on road structures in the forest section should commence as their construction do not involve cutting down trees.
He added that the road construction could not be delayed any further as it was one of the projects set to be commissioned by the President in Elgeyo Marakwet County.
He reiterated that payments to KFS should be done within shortest time possible to facilitate the planting of trees and members of the CDICC would be involved in the tree planting exercise.
The CDICC chair Elgeyo Marakwet County Commissioner John Korir said a government entity could not be the cause of another government entity to run behind schedule as they both worked for the common goal of serving the public.
He advised that work should proceed as scheduled as the committee waited for feedback and communication from KFS.
By Rennish Okong’o