Delays by the national government to disburse devolved funds is frustrating the upgrade of the road network in agriculture-reliant Nandi County.
Tireito Biwott, the county officer in charge of Roads, Transport and Infrastructure, said the department received Sh151 million for the financial year 2019-2020. This, he said, is not enough to open up access roads in the country’s 30 elective wards.
“Nandi is a rich agricultural county receiving heavy rains throughout the year. These conditions affect roads adversely, and enough funds are required to rehabilitate them and open up new ones to ease mobility of agricultural produce,” said Mr Biwott.
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He appealed to the county assembly to consider increasing allocations to the department to help improve the existing road network.
Biwott noted that of the total amount, Sh28 million has been allocated for grading. This, he said, could only cover 12 kilometres in each of the county’s 30 wards.
“The purchase of county road maintenance machinery has helped supplement devolved funds, improve the state of our roads and almost reach our main targets,” he said. “We used our own machinery to upgrade 10 kilometres to murram per ward, opening up drainage and culverts. The rest of the roads are awarded to contractors.”
Biwott noted that the devolved funds are sometimes disbursed when the region is experiencing heavy rains, hence frustrating efforts to develop the roads.
“We urge the national government to release resources on time. This will enable us to carry out road works during the dry season for efficiency and quality,” he said.
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He observed that the region is ideal for dairy, cereals, sugarcane and horticulture production, adding that the early upgrading of roads would help farmers earn more.