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KeRRA, water firms in agreement on relocation of pipes

Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA) and three water firms have agreed on relocation of pipes which had hindered tarmacking of a road in Murang’a.
The impasse over relocation of the water pipes has delayed tarmacking of Kagaa-Kiruri road for about one month.
The firms, Kahuti Water and Sanitation Company, Murang’a South Water and Sanitation Company and National Irrigation Board had accused the contractor working on the road of destruction of pipes making the companies to incur huge losses.
Kahuti Company had claimed that residents who got water from the firm had 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 Company moved to court seeking compensation for the destroyed pipes.
On Monday, members of the County Development Implementation Committee (CDICC) visited the road with all the affected parties, where a truce was made which will allow construction of the 41-kilomtre road.
KeRRA Central region Manager Engineer Joseph Wanjohi accused the water firms of not considering the width of the road when they were installing the pipes.
Wanjohi noted that some of the pipes were put almost at the middle of the road thus making working on the road difficult.
Wanjohi confirmed that pipes which were already destroyed have been replaced by KeRRA and the contractor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 are almost at the middle of the road.
The contractor said they will assist in digging trenches to relocate some of the affected pipes and the firms will deploy their technicians to assist in connecting the pipes.
The CDICC Chairman Mr. Mohammed Barre said the agreement will now allow the completion of the road which will open up the rich agricultural area.
Barre underscored the need of having 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 to the High Court that had directed the parties to reach an agreement before going back for the mention of the case.
The road, which is 70 per cent complete and connecting Nyoka nyoka road and areas bordering Aberdare forests, will be a big reprieve to dairy and tea farmers as their produce will reach various markets quickly.
By Bernard Munyao

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