Residents of Nguni and Nuu areas of Mwingi East Sub County in Kitui County have asked the government to fast-track construction of Enziu River Bridge to ensure the project is completed.
Early this year, the government launched the construction of Enziu Bridge and committed over Sh500million towards the construction of the bridge. The Kiu construction company won and was awarded the contract but the construction work has been going though at a very slow pace.
Speaking to journalists, Manzi Mwanzia residents of Nguni said there is a possibility risk posed by the Killer Enziu River if the bridge is not completed within the stipulated time frame and hence the contractor needs to put more efforts to avert more deaths.
Faith Ndunge, a resident of the areas of Nguni and who is currently employed at the construction site said that during the rainy season, water in the Enziu river swells for days, and residents are forced to wait, with many who attempt crossing risking losing their lives.
Ruth Mawia, who is also an employee at the site said that the bridge is of immense importance to area residents and it has caused them untold agony during rainy seasons, with many lives having been lost so far.
However, according to Erick Odhiambo, an employee of the Kiu Construction Company which is undertaking the construction, everything is going on according to plan and despite the challenge of the forthcoming rains, construction works are set to continue.
In June this year, when Eastern Region Development Implementation and Coordination Committee visited the construction site of the bridge, the area Regional Commissioner Evans Achoki faulted the contractor for being slow.
He said the agreement was that the contractor re-plan his work and start putting up visible structures in the next few months. The contractor is expected to complete construction of the bridge by next month.
The Enziu River came to the limelight of the nation after a bus ferrying choir members from Mwingi to Nuu was swept by the water, leading to the death of over 30 people. Numerous deaths had also been previously reported at the Enziu Bridge.
By Charles Matacho