Upgrading of Makutano-Kacheliba-Konyao Road into bitumen standards is in top gear with its completion percentage standing at 79 percent.
The Sh3.068,754,451 road is expected to open up the region for diverse business activities with the area known for goats and sheep production in the expansive area leading towards the Kenya-Uganda border.
Speaking during the DCICC meeting and subsequent inspection of the construction works on Wednesday, Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA) resident Engineer Edwin Mutai said the construction which commenced in December 2017 is going on well despite initially having been slowed down last year owing to the heavy rains.
Eng. Mutai said so far 37 months have elapsed out of the 42 months agreed for the completion period noting that the contractor who is still busy on the site has requested for time extension which is subject to review.
“The contractor is carrying on with the works with satisfactory progress achievement. They have asked for time extension citing delays caused by the Covid-19 regulations that saw them slow down their activities although we are yet to respond to their application,” said the resident engineer.
The CDICC members chaired by West Pokot County Commissioner Apollo Okello urged the contractor to make good use of the dry season to speed up the works before the March-April-May heavy rains descend.
The road that winds through hills has seen the contractor break through rocks an activity that is seen to be consuming much of the time.
The 80kms road is already with tarmac between Kitelakapel areas through Kacheliba to Konyao market.
Julius Kamoi a resident in Konyao lauded the government for the upgrading of the road saying once it is complete it will spur numerous development activities in the semi-arid area.
Kamoi said the area enjoys various tourist attraction sites such as beautiful hills that have remained unattractive due to the inaccessibility of the area.
“This area is largely known for livestock production especially sheep and goats which will enjoy a huge market once this road is completed. Most of the time farmers are forced to sell them at throw away prices because of transportation hitches,” he explained adding that the area has been prone to shortage of food supply because of poor road network.
The resident who mentioned that they have already started reaping benefits of the road however cast fears that the Konyao Bridge constructed might be small since the place is always prone to heavy flooding during rainy seasons.
“This place whenever rains fall is usually impassable but with the tarmac road one is now assured of uninterrupted travel through. We are looking forward to the extension of the tarmac passing Konyao all the way to Alale which is the border town,” said Kamoi.
by Richard Muhambe