Kajiado residents from three sub counties have all the reasons to smile after the reconstruction of the Paai Bridge.
The bridge which had cost taxpayers Sh100 million collapsed one week after it was commissioned by Governor Joseph Ole Lenku has been reconstructed and is currently in use.
The bridge connects three constituencies in the county namely Kajiado East (KenyawaPoka Ward), Kajiado Central (Matapato Ward) and Kajiado South (Imbirikani Ward).
The Olkeriai River where the bridge has been constructed across, is a seasonal river that normally breaks its banks wreaking havoc in the area making it hard for the farm produce to reach to the market on time making farmers to incur losses.
“I practice tomato and onion farming. During the rainy season it becomes hard for us to cross the river as it usually breaks its banks. The tomatoes are perishable and end up rotting in the farm. But for now we can access the market easily and efficiently,” said Peter Ole Mosiany who does farming along the banks of Olkeriai River.
Many school going children also miss classes during the rainy season as they are forced to stay at home for as long as a month until the river runs dry.
“Children used to miss exams more so Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) as they cannot risk to cross the flowing river. This has greatly affected their performance. But this year they will sit for their exam without any of them missing on grounds that the river is flowing,” added Ole Mosiany.
In the previous years, KCPE candidates from the other side of the river, Kajiado Central and Kajiado South, were forced to cross the river to schools around Mashuuru Sub County to enable them to sit for exams without interruptions.
Faith Naserian, a business woman from Kajiado is elated after the reconstruction works are complete saying she can now be able to operate from home to Kajiado town with ease.
Naserian who lives in Mashuuru said that due to her livestock, she is forced to operate from home to Kajiado daily, a situation that has always been challenging given the state of Olkeriai River during rainy season.
“Following the reconstruction, I can now be able to access my business in Kajiado easily whether it rains or not,” said Naserian.
There have been cases of livestock, vehicles and people being swept away by the Olkeriai river once it floods.
By Diana Meneto and Sammy Rayiani.