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Government turns guns on lazy road contractors

Road contractors who will not complete their work on time will lose their deals, Kenya National Highways Authority has warned.

The authority chairman Erastus Mwongera without naming the contractors, lamented that some of them were taking too long to complete their projects therefore inconveniencing road users and causing unnecessary delay.

“Contractors must implement their work on schedule and do quality work. We do not want a contractor who remains on a project for long else we will terminate those contracts,” said Mr Mwongera.

The chairman also cautioned contractors against bidding for more work than they can handle noting that the government is working under a controlled budget.

“We have also expanded maintenance period. Contractors will stay on the road for six to 24 months depending on the quality of the work done. Those who do poor work will repeat,” he warned.

Mr Mwongera made the remarks during the signing of contracts for the construction of Sh24.5billion international truck road from Loichangamatak-Lodwar-Nadapal/Nakodok, and which will take three years.

The highway which will link Kenya and South Sudan through Turkana County will be undertaken by three Chinese contractors.

“This component is an important link along the Biharamalo-Mwanza-Musoma-Isibania-Kitale-Lodwar-Lokichar-Nakodok-Juba transport corridor of the East Africa Community’s regional road network,” said the chairman.

Mr Mwongera said the project is jointly funded by the World Bank and the government under the Eastern Africa regional transport, trade and development facilitating project.

The Lodwar –Lokitaung junction which is 80km has been awarded to the Third engineering bureau of China City Construction Company at Sh8.3billion.

Lokitaung junction-Kalobeyei River which is 80km has been awarded to Chongquing international construction corporation at Sh8.4 billion while Kalobeiyei River-Nadapal/Nakodok which is 88km at South Sudan border has been awarded to China Railway No 5 engineering group at Sh7.8 billion.

“The above contracts follow an earlier signing in September 2016 of a contract for the construction of the corridor, between Loichangamatak –Lodwar (50km) at a cost of Sh6.7 billion and Kainuk Bridge at a cost of Sh1.5 billion,” said Mr Mwongera.

He said the government will finance the construction of the 40km section between Lokichar and Loichangamatak.

“Once complete, the project will vastly improve the movement of goods and people along the road corridor situated in the North Western part of Kenya and in particular, will enhance connectivity between Kenya and South Sudan as well as promote national cohesion and regional integration,” added the chairman.

Mr Mwongera explained that the implementation of corridor under the mandate of the authority will focus on the improvement of the road infrastructure, and the implementation of trade and development of pastoralist roadside markets.

Others will be reduction in vehicle maintenance costs and travel times for passenger and cargo, employment opportunities for local communities and construction and establishment of social amenities such as schools and health facilities.

“The rehabilitation of this crucial national corridor forms part of recent and ongoing interventions within the region, which includes the improvement of the Eldoret-Kitale-Lokichar-Amosing roads aimed at providing efficient uptake and transportation of crude oil from Amosing region,” said Mr Mwongera.

He highlighted some of the projects that have been completed such as 501km Isiolo-Moyale corridor and nearly complete 143km multinational Voi-Mwatate/Holili road corridor and the recently contracted 374km Isebania Kisii-Ahero.

He added that the authority is on course of delivering the 10,000 km roads as promised by the government.

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