Prolonged rains in the months of May and June this year have been cited as the main hindrance to the completion of the Mau Narok- Kisiriri road construction.
The South Rift Resident Engineer, Stephen Musindayi said already 60 percent of the 87-kilometre stretch had been covered at a cost of Sh.864 million.
Eng. Musindayi who spoke during a County Development Implementation and Coordination Committee held at the County Commissioners Boardroom on Wednesday said the road was to be completed in September but could delay due to the unavoidable circumstances.
“Rains experienced from time to time over the months of May, June and July affected execution of the scheduled work. This made the contractor to request for additional time,” submitted the engineer.
The Narok County Commissioner (CC), Samuel Kimiti chaired the meeting, attended by Khadija Mohammed from the Presidential Delivery Unit (PDU), National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) officials and the county security team.
The corona virus pandemic, the engineer said has also affected the construction work as many people were required to remain at home following the government’s directive.
“The Chinese contractor was also forced to keep off the site because initially the locals had a mindset that Covid-19 is a Chinese virus,” Eng. Musindayi said.
Kimiti asked the Engineers to inform his office whenever they got stuck so as to help in completing the work in the contracted period.
“The government involves a multi-agency approach when doing such a major project so that the work can move fast. We ask the engineers to keep on informing us of their progress so that we can help where need be,” said Kimiti.
Ms. Mohammed asked the resident Engineer to be vigilant in ensuring the contractors do a credible job, saying they are the eyes of the government on the ground.
President Uhuru Kenyatta launched the construction of the road to bitumen standard in July 2017, a process expected to be completed 30 months later. The completion period was later revised to 40 months due to delayed funds and date revised to September 2020.
The road is being constructed by UNIK Civil Engineering Limited and funded by the Government of Kenya through the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA).
Its completion will be a big plus to the residents in the food rich area that borders Maasai Mau forest as they will transport their produce to the market in ease.
“We used to sell our farm produce only one way – in Narok town, after the completion of the road, it will be easy to move to Nakuru and other towns to sell our goods,” said Monica Morgan, a farmer in Kisiriri.
Ms. Morgan who owns 20 acres of land where she plants maize, potatoes, beans and vegetables said for many years farmers have been incurring losses due to impassable roads especially during rainy seasons causing their produce to rot in the shamba.
She added the construction of the road will open up to many vehicles using the highway hence some of their produce will be sold to the road users.
Residents of Mau area have in the past held demonstrations to pressure the government to build the road but their cry mostly fell on deaf ears. Politicians used it as a campaigning tool, promising to prioritize the road once they get in office, but performed negligibly once elected.
Olokruto, Ololopil and Oposumuru wards, in the Narok Mau region where the road is passing are the county’s main food basket as the area experiences rain throughout the year.
By Ann Salaton