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Observe timelines, Contractors told

The government is committed to the completion of development projects initiated in Marsabit County and agencies concerned have been urged to ensure that timelines are observed.

Marsabit county commissioner Paul Rotich said monitoring and evaluation of on-going projects was important to ensure that any handles cropping up are addressed on time.

Mr Rotich who was chairing the county development and coordination committee (CDICC) meeting in his boardroom noted that the focus was particularly on infrastructure in order to hasten development, spur trade and create employment.

However, the meeting noted that encroachment on road reserves as well as overbearing community social responsibility (CSR) demands by local communities was a big headache to contractors and supervisors of projects.

            In Majengo area of Marsabit town where the Kenya urban roads authority (KURA) is upgrading roads to bitumen standards, gross encroachment to road reserves is hampering construction works with residents being asked to cooperate by paving way.

            Kenya Power (KP) was also asked to hasten removal of 203 electric poles and five transformers that stand on the roads earmarked for tarmacking, so that works could proceed without hindrance.

            KURA regional director Eliud Ndiritu said a quotation presented to the authority by KP of Sh. 10.2 million was not tenable and the committee asked the company to review it downwards to an affordable figure.

            A total of 10 kilometers of roads is being upgraded to bitumen standards in Majengo estate at a cost of Sh. 705.8 million with approximately 15 percent of work having been covered in the last six months.

            The project which is set to be completed in July 2022 faces a many-sided limitation to works that include a sewer line, power outlines and permanent private buildings.

            Mr Ndiritu said KURA and the contractor, MISABA, were working on ways of guiding residents how to reposition perimeter fences, pit latrines and other structures erected on road reserves.

            Haphazard allocation of plots that never took care of drainage waterfall wayleaves has also proven a difficulty in the implementation of the project which is aimed at enhancing the image of Marsabit town, currently enjoying an upgraded status of a municipality.

            The project is also aimed at addressing the dust challenge from access roads in the estate; improve on security, hence, raise the living standards of the residents.

            The CDICC chairman ordered residents with both residential and rental houses built on road reserves to abide by the law and remove them.

            “We are not going to allow encroachment on road reserves to slow or frustrate the construction works,” the CC cautioned.

            In Laisamis constituency where a contractor has stuck with a 20 kilometer road tarmacking project for four years, the narrative is that the local community has been demanding that it be supplied with water to allow the construction to progress.

            M/S Gaamey Construction Company which is undertaking the Sh. 980.6million project has reportedly upgraded 17.5 kilometers to bitumen standard in the last 46 months.

            The company director Daud Ibrahim told the CDICC that delayed payments from the government and CSR demands from the residents are the major setbacks hindering his work.

            “We have been providing the community with diesel to run their borehole which has since broken down,” he said adding; “The demand now is that we provide them with water which we have to draw 50 kilometres away.”

            An assistant engineer with the Kenya rural roads authority (KeRRA) Clinton Mutonyi said the issue of payment was being addressed by the authority.

            He added that the elapsed contract period was also a challenge but that an extension of term that would attract a cost appraisal was being reviewed.

by Sebastian Miriti

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