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Huge losses as rains turn roads into cesspools

By Kennedy Gachuhi and Robert Kiplagat | Published Wed, May 16th 2018 at 19:28, Updated May 16th 2018 at 19:33 GMT +3
Tractors stuck in dilapidated roads in Kiptagich, Kuresoi South, Nakuru County on May 16, 2018. [Kennedy Gachuhi, Standard]

Rains have rendered roads in the agriculture-rich Kuresoi impassable, with farmers and traders counting losses.

In Sirikwa ward, for instance, some roads that had been graded under the Boresha Barabara programme rolled out by the county in January have become worse than they were before after county engineers abandoned their work before they could layer the road with murram.

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“The county graders concluded the grading but before they could put murram, heavy rains disrupted their activities. The earth road is now dilapidated,” said Joel Koech, a resident.

Potato farmers are among the most affected as traders have cut the buying price of their produce to compensate for the high costs they incur in transportation.

“Lorries cannot access farms and traders have to use bigger tractors, which charge more to transport our produce from the farms to the point where they can be loaded onto lorries. The effect of this is passed on to farmers,” said Mr Koech.

Already fermented

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Dairy farmers have not been spared as their milk gets to the market late and sometimes when it is already fermented.

Most farmers ferry their milk to clients and the New Kenya Co-operative Creameries in Molo town, which is a few kilometres away, but which take hours to reach.

Meanwhile, traders in Narok town have given the contractor building a Sh100 million bridge 14 days to finish the work or leave.

Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) Chairman David Mpatiany complained that the bridge had taken longer than anticipated.

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But Wesley Koech, the contractor’s representative, defended the delay, saying the Kenya National Highways Authority was supposed to inspect the first phase of the bridge before they could proceed.