Machakos County Commissioner, Rhoda Onyancha has urged contractors and government officials to fast track the completion of various roads under construction in Mavoko sub-county of Machakos.

Speaking during a County Development Coordination and Implementation Committee (CDICC) meeting held at the Athi River Deputy County Commissioners (DCC)’s boardroom, Ms Onyancha appealed to the contractors, Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA), Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) to coordinate with Kenya Power and other stakeholders to ensure that the roads are completed within the set timeline.

Ms Onyancha who later led the CDICC team on an inspection tour of the Mlolongo-Athi River-Joska and Devki- Kinanie road called on the officials to address the various challenges impeding the roadworks which are being upgraded to bitumen standard.

“Kenya Power posts on road reserves ought to be relocated. Any pending payment can be followed up to avoid any further delays. Issues of encroachment on road reserves also need to be addressed by liaising with county surveyors to expedite the exercise,” said Onyancha.

Machakos County Commissioner Rhoda Onyancha while on a tour of the Athi River-Mlolongo-Joska road. She is flanked by PDU Deputy Director, Ms Georgina Njoroge (Far Left) Mavoko DCC Charles Wambugu (Second left), KERRA Regional Manager Cyprian Mukuva (center in checked shirt), KURA Senior Engineer Eng Dennis Maingi (in talks with CC) among other CDICC committee members. Photo by Rachael Kilonzo

“We require firmness on this, DCCs and Chiefs should sensitize the public on the importance of paving way for the construction of road reserves. KeRRA and KURA need to mark their roads clearly to deter encroachment,” added Onyancha.

The CC urged the officials and contractors to liaise with the CDICC whose key mandate is to coordinate the implementation of government development projects by addressing any challenges in a concerted effort to speed up the project’s completion.

“That’s why the people’s representative is here. We want to know any challenges that the contractors, government officials or the public may be facing on the ground,” said Onyancha.

She further called on the contractors – China Aerospace, Global Link and China Wu Yi Company Limited to ensure that the roads are upgraded to the set standards and specifications where she pledged the National Government and Administration Officials’ (NGAO) support in ensuring that government resources do not go to waste.

Presidential Delivery Unit (PDU) Deputy Director Georgina Njoroge said that her office is assisting in fast tracking on issues of Interim Payment Certificates to ensure that there are no further delays on payments to contractors.

Ms Njoroge urged all the stakeholders to speed up the construction works, keep the committee updated in addition to consulting with the PDU team on any arising issues.

National Environment and Management Authority (NEMA) County Director, Parnwell Simitu urged contractors to ensure that all excavated materials are dumped at the right place and that the excavated ground is refilled.

He pledged to engage with the Water Resources Authority and other relevant stakeholders on issues of environmental safety particularly where residents opt for the excavated ground not to be refilled so that it can act as a water reservoir which may ultimately pose a threat to the public.

Kenya Power County Director Maurice Owour told the committee that all arrangements had been put in place and that relocation of power lines was to be executed within the next two weeks to pave way for the construction on the stalled sections.

Other issues that were addressed comprise high levies on construction materials by the county government, illegal dumping on some sections and issues of trucks plying the roads on their way to ferry construction materials.

Others comprise litigation issues by some land owners hence contractors could not work on those areas as they wait for the matters to be settled in court in addition to illegal business encroaching on some road reserves.

Construction of the 15km Mlolongo-Athi River-Joska road commenced on September 24, 2020 and is expected to cost an estimated Sh 2.2 billion while that of the Devki-Kinanie road commenced on July 12, 2021 and is expected to be completed within a period of three years.

Other roads under construction in Mavoko Sub County comprise the second carriageway of Athi River Machakos turn off road, the Mombasa-Lukenya road and the Syokimau-community road and the Access to Stoni Athi Housing project road, whose construction commenced on July 15, 2021.

Others in attendance were Machakos Deputy County Commissioner, Charles Wambugu, KeRRA Regional Manager, Eng. Cyprian Mukuva, KURA Senior Engineer, Eng. Dennis Maingi, Athi River Assistant County Commissioner, Mr. Dennis Ongaga, among other CDICC committee members.

By Rachael Kilonzo