Residents plying the Biretwo – Arror road have called on the national government to repair a section of the road at Emkong village which was swept away by waters from the Yokot dam which was destroyed by heavy rains during the long rains season last year.
The residents expressed their concern that with the long rains expected any time, the road may be completely cut off yet it is the only road connecting the Kerio Valley to the main Kabarnet – Iten – Eldoret highway.
Miriam Sogome whose house neigbours the section, said while others were anxiously waiting for the rains so that they could plant, for the women in the area, they live in fear of what will happen to their school going children.
“Last year after the section was swept away, a child escaped death narrowly after she slipped and fell from the logs which we placed across the road to use while crossing,” she said.
Moses Tarus, a truck driver plying the route said they incur a lot of expenses on repairing their vehicles while passing the section as they have to frequently replace the springs which are broken as they negotiate the deep section.
Tarus who transports sand from the Kerio River said they are lucky their lorries can pass, saying saloon vehicles can be easily swept away when it rains.
Due to the county’s hilly terrain Lorries carrying heavy loads are forced to use the road as it is dangerous going up the mountains.
Anthony Maiyo, a boda boda operator said bodabodas are the main mode of transport during the day said its difficult to operate when it rains in the highlands, saying they are forced to pay sh.100 to people who help carry their motorbikes from one side to the other.
He is therefore appealing to the government to urgently repair the road before the county starts to receive heavy rains, saying they will be forced to stay at home which will result in loss of business.
A former councilor, David Cheserek wondered why the road has been left unrepaired for so long, saying it was discouraging tourists who visit the nearby Rimoi National game reserve.
“While the road is under the national government, the county government should lobby for its repair as they benefit from the game reserve and also the traders who pay cess to the county,” he said.
The Kenya National Highway Authority (KeNHA) County Engineer, Edwin Mutai said the department was aware of the situation on that road, saying they have received some funds for its repair.
Mutai said they had embarked on the procurement of the works and assured residents that they were doing everything possible to ensure that the section is repaired.
By Alice Wanjiru