|A grader rolls into Wajir town to begin work for the town’s ?rst-ever tarmacked road.|
Wajir County will have its first stretch of tarmac road in due course after Governor Ahmed Abdullahi launched the eagerly awaited project in the northern Kenya town recently.
Heavy construction machinery rolled out to start work on a eight-kilometre stretch of road that is projected to cost Sh389.4 million.
During a ground breaking ceremony witnessed by hundreds of curious residents and a phalanx of Wajir leaders, Mr Abdullahi said that on its completion, the project will cover 25 kilometres in Wajir town and its environs.
The governor urged traders at Soko Mjinga that lies on a section marked for tarmac to relocate to the new market put up for them.
Mr Abdullahi, who was flanked by five MPs, his Deputy Mr Abdihafid Abdullahi, and Senator Abdirahman Hassan, promised that street lights would be installed immediately the tarmacking is complete. He will allow business to be conducted on a 24-hour basis, he said.
The Governor echoed calls by other leaders and asked the Jubilee Government to end the nightmare that is the 710 long kilometre Garissa-Wajir-Mandera trunk road to bring the region closer to other parts of the country. He said with the discovery of huge natural gas deposits in Wajir County and oil in Turkana, northern Kenya could no longer be ignored.
“That is why the tarmacking of this particular trunk road and other important transport corridors in northern Kenya must be fast -tracked,” said the governor.
“The Government ought to come to terms with the fact that the once marginalised counties in northern Kenya are now important economic centres capable of generating revenue for the country just like the rest, hence the need to distribute national resources here.”
MPs Abass Sheikh (Wajir East), Mohamed Elmi (Tarbaj), Ibrahim Saaney (Wajir North), Abdikadir Ore (Wajir West) and Abdullahi Diriye (Wajir South) attended the ceremony.
“Let us give credit where it is due. This is indeed an important project that the county government has invested in,” Saaney said, describing his occasional criticism of the county government as “constructive and not malicious”.
Ali Suleiman, a businessman at Soko Mjinga, believes that the tarmac will not only uplift the face of the dusty town, but also improve its economy.
“Movement by both cars and the people will be easier. Businesses along the road will be competitive,” Suleiman said.