The national government through the Ministry of Roads today re-launched the tamarcking of Misikhu – Naitiri, Makuselwa – Lugulu market and Brigadier – Kona Mbaya road for the third time after they launched twice but failed to start off.
Addressing residents during the launch, Roads CS Eng. James Macharia said the first contractor did shoddy work and that’s why the project delayed and the government had to terminate the contract and look for another contractor and the process was tedious.
” We gave a tender to a certain contractor but he was very slow and that made it hard for us to continue working with him, therefore we terminated his contract and got another one and today we are handing over a contract to a Chinese Company and am sure in two months there will be white smoke,” said Eng. Macharia.
He thanked the residents of Webuye East and Tongaren for the exercising patience for long and promised that the contractor will do recommendable work and finish the contract in good time adding that in three months at least the road would be getting to the finishing mark.
He assured the residents that the three phase projects will be completed to open up the two Sub Counties and also the three Counties; Bungoma, Trans Nzoia and Kakamega so that to improve business hence uplift the economy of the three Counties.
Eng. Macharia added that the project will be funded by the national government at the tune of Ksh1.7 billion covering close to 43 km and appealed to the new contractor to work hard and complete it on time because it has stalled for a long time and residents are yarning to use it for they have suffered for long.
He was accompanied by his counterpart Cabinet Secretary of Defence Eugene Wamalwa who urged the contractor to speed up the work and make sure that he gives employment to the locals.
“Am appealing to the contractor whom we believe in to kindly consider giving the work to the locals and we also have experts so let him utilize the community before looking elsewhere so that the community can feel the importance of the project,” said Wamalwa.
However, Wamalwa lauded the government for the project terming it a milestone and said he will make follow ups to make sure that the project is completed on time for the sake of the community which has suffered a lot but he asked the community too especially those close affected by the tamarcking road to cooperate with the contractor and remove any hindrance that will delay the project.
Bungoma governor Wycliffe Wangamati said if the road is completed it will be of help especially to those who travel to Eldoret as they would not be forced to go through Kitale and it will also open up business network.
“We want as a County to thank the government more so our President Uhuru Kenyatta for funding this project for it is very important to Bungoma as a County, Kakamega and our neighbors Trans Nzoia and our business men and women will have easier time accessing the markets within the three counties and this will result to building a good economy to our people from this region” said Wangamati.
Residents however expressed fear of the project saying it has been launched more than twice and nothing has ever happened and doubted if the project will take over as explained by the cabinet Secretaries.
They said the timing was questionable, adding that the government maybe using it as abait to get votes from the rich vote Western region and added that they will be keen to monitor the progress of the project as it’s very important to the community.
“This is not the first time it’s being launched, it has been done severally and we hope this time round something will happen unlike other times where they launch and the moment they leave the craters too leave and we continue suffering,” said one of the residents.
He added that they are keen on the project and will not allow visitors to take up the work when they are around and jobless but demanded to be given first priority in terms of employment.