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Long awaited Barpelo-Marich Pass road to commence in January

Construction on the long awaited Sh15 billion Barpelo-Tot-Marich Pass road project will start in January, 2022, Kenya National Highway Authority (KeNHA) Board Chairman Wangai Ndirangu has announced.

Eng Ndirangu said that the 43 kilometres (B 17) road linking Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet, West Pokot and finally South Sudan will go a long way in opening up the region bedeviled with cattle rustling and banditry menace for socio-economic development.

The KeNHA board chair made the announcement during a stakeholder’s consultative meeting held at a hotel in Marigat, Baringo County which was convened to discuss construction of the road.

The Chairman stated that the Northern Corridor project set to take three years once completed will shorten the distance between Nakuru, Lodwar and beyond by 70 kilometres thus save travelers the agony of having to pass through Kapenguria and Eldoret enroute to Nairobi.

“This is government fulfillment of the promise to the people of North Rift to open up the road all the way from Nakuru through Marigat, Chemolingot to Marich Pass and onwards to South Sudan. It is a very important corridor for us because it also connects Tanzania through Kerio Valley,” Ndirangu noted.

The multibillion project, he noted, apart from spurring development in the horticultural rich Kerio Valley known for highly valued mangoes, bananas, vegetables and livestock products, it will also help eradicate deep rooted cattle rustling activities which for decades has frustrated peaceful co-existence among various communities.

He added that the tarmacking of the critical road passing through the arid and semi-arid pastoralist inhabited area, is set to help communities in the region contribute rightfully to the economic development and prosperity of the country.

“As part of peace building efforts, we are going to construct peace museums at Barpelo and Kubasi River just to celebrate cultures of the people living within the three counties,” he added.

Ndirangu said that they intend to establish a free and ample parking bays for heavy commercial vehicles plying the route at Barpelo, Tot and Sigor as part of the authority’s corporate social responsibility and as a way of encouraging safe behaviour by truck drivers so that after a long trip, they are able to take a rest before proceeding.

“We expect the road once completed to promote the development of commercial and market centres along the route right from Chemolingot to Sigor and thus create employment opportunities to local youth,” he stated.

Baringo Senator, Gideon Moi, who graced the occasion, lauded the government for funding the road project saying it will open up the region especially Tiaty Constituency which for a long time has remained closed since colonial period hence enhance economic activities.

“Apart from the road, they are going to construct some feeder roads that will help in rapid response when situations arise. We are confident that with the opening of the road network, the lives of our people will change and this will open up Baringo with its abundant resources and help gain access to other areas,” Moi said.

Governor Kiptis in his address said that the County Government as part of its contribution will give out waiver for construction materials available within the region.

“Materials are just from within and we have decided to give out the waiver, and have requested the contractors to dig water pans along the roads as a way of giving back to the society,” Kiptis insisted.

Tiaty MP, William Kamket, said that the construction of the Northern Corridor road will help in resolving decades long issues of banditry and promised that his constituents will cooperate to ensure the project gets completed in time.

Among leaders who attended the stakeholder’s consultative forum included Deputy Governor Jacob Chepkwony, Area County Commissioner, Henry Wafula, and host of members of county assembly.

By Faith Lagat and Joshua Kibet

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