A road contractor in Kitui has halted on-going construction work demanding Sh250 million from the Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA) for completed works before returning to site.
The 35 km Nuu-Nguni Road contractor in Mwingi Central is up in arms, following delayed payments despite raising three milestone certificates and called on the government to expedite his dues.
In a statement released to the press, ADMO Construction (K) LTD, Managing Director, Mohamed Adan, said that out of the contract sum of Sh1.4 Billion to tarmac the road, he has received a paltry Sh304 million from the government despite raising milestone certificates of Sh561 million.
“I need the intervention of the government to release the remaining funds of the raised certificates to enable me complete this project launched in June 30, 2017 by President Uhuru Kenyatta,” said Adan.
KeRRA Eastern Region Manager, Eng. Mbavu Sayo, confirmed during the County Development Implementation Coordination Committee (CDICC) tour of the project that the road is at 68.5 per cent complete.
“The remaining stretch is about three kilometres. Since I rely on my own funding, I sought project extension as I wait to see if I will be paid for the completed milestones,” said Adan.
Despite the delayed payment, he noted that he drives for 27 kilometres to the nearest water source to fetch water for the road project, “I tried digging boreholes unsuccessfully, as the water table is too low.”
Eng. Mbavu urged the contractor to exhibit patience as the matter is escalated to the relevant organs for action.
He said that the low volume road has helped ease movement of people and goods in the area.
“This road was dilapidated following years of neglect and erosion during the wet seasons. It was impassable and locals had difficulties seeking medical services among other needs. Those challenges will be addressed when this road is completed,” said the KeRRA Regional Manager.
He said that enforcement officers will be deployed along the road to carry out impromptu road axle weight checks of trucks to deter any user from excessive loads.
“Improving feeder roads that connect rural areas with main roads and urban centres contributes to inclusive economic growth by generating new low-skilled jobs and providing access to further employment opportunities,” noted Eng. Mbavu.
By Yobesh Onwong’a