Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA) and three water firms have arrived at an agreement over relocation of pipes which had hindered tarmacking of a Murang’a roads.
The impasse over relocation of the water pipes has delayed tarmacking of Kagaa-Kiruri road for a period of about four weeks.
The firms, Kahuti Water and Sanitation Company, Murang’a South Water and Sanitation Company and National Irrigation Board have accused the contractor working on the road of destruction of pipes subjecting the companies to incur huge losses.
Kahuti Company had claimed that residents who got water from the firm have gone for weeks without the basic commodity after several pipes were destroyed.
The contractor, S.S. Mehta was forced to halt construction of the road after Kahuti water moved to court seeking compensation for the pipes destroyed.
On Monday, members of the County Development Implementation Committee (CDICC) visited the road with all the affected parties, where a truce was made thereby allowing construction of the 41-kilomtre road to proceed.
KeRRA Central region Manager Engineer Wanjoi accused the water firms of not considering the width of the road when they were installing the pipes.
Wanjoi noted that some of the pipes were put almost at the middle of the road thus making working of the road difficult.
Wanjoi confirmed that pipes which were already destroyed have been replaced by KeRRA and the contractor.
For the remaining nine kilometres to be done, he added, KeRRA will compensate part of the damages and the water firm will take responsibility to relocate pipes which were almost in the middle of the road.
“The pipes which are place more than three feet deep in the ground will be spared but those about one foot deep would need to be relocated.
The contractor said he would assist to dig trenches to relocate some of the affected pipes and the firms would deploy their technicians to assist in connecting the pipes.
The CDICC Chairman Mr. Mohammed Barre said the agreement would now allow the completion of the road which would open up agriculturally rich area.
Barre underscored the need for having an agreement between the affected parties without going to court.
“The people of this area need both water and the road, so it could be better if the aggrieved firms opted for negotiation out of court,” he added.
The agreement between KeRRA and the firms will be reported back to court after the High Court asked the parties to arrive at an agreement before going back for mention of the case.
The road which is 70 percent complete and connecting Nyoka nyoka road and areas bordering Aberdare forests, will be of a big reprieve to dairy and tea farmers eager to transport their produce to markets.
By Bernard Munyao