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Toropket-Kapnuria Road Impasse Resolved: Construction Set to Resume

After a brief halt due to a dispute with the Kenya Forest Service (KFS), the tarmacking of the Toropket-Kapnuria road in Marakwet West Sub County is set to resume. The road construction along the Chebororwa-Kokwongoi stretch, which passes through Toropket to Kapnuria, had faced a setback when KFS intervened, citing concerns over the impact on the surrounding forest.

Paul Koech, the County Forest Conservator, highlighted that the road’s route traverses approximately 5km of forest land, necessitating careful consideration of environmental impacts.

One of the primary concerns revolved around compensation for the removal of trees by the Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KERRA), which is overseeing the road construction.

In a collaborative effort to resolve the impasse, KERRA, represented by David Kibet, the Resident Engineer of the road and Director for KERRA in Elgeyo Marakwet County engaged in discussions with KFS officials. Kibet expressed satisfaction with the outcome, stating,

“Amicable agreements have been reached, ensuring that the road construction can proceed smoothly.”

As part of the agreement, KERRA has committed to replanting trees removed for road construction in a designated area within the forest, as stipulated by KFS. This commitment aims to mitigate the environmental impact of the project while allowing the contractor to proceed unhindered.

Kibet further outlined measures to ensure the smooth continuation of work, including instructions for the contractor to focus on areas of the forest devoid of trees.

He expressed optimism about the project’s timeline, estimating that, barring weather-related delays, the road could be completed within four months.

Addressing concerns about community involvement, Kibet reassured that the contractor had sourced manpower locally, fostering a positive relationship with residents.

“There have been no hiccups or hostility from them,” he affirmed.

With the resolution of the impasse and a clear path forward established, stakeholders anticipate the timely completion of the Toropket-Kapnuria road, which promises improved connectivity and enhanced access for local communities.

By Rennish Okong’o

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