Residents raise concerns over delay in construction Sh2.83 billion road

Homa Bay County Commissioner Moses Lilan (in white mask) speaks to contractors during a tour of the 73km Mbita-Sindo-Magunga-Sori Road. Residents of Homa Bay and Migori counties are worried over delay in tarmacking of the Sh2.83 billion road which was handed over to a Chinese construction company more than three months ago. [James Omoro, Standard]

Residents of Homa Bay and Migori counties are worried over delay in tarmacking of a Sh2.83 billion road which was handed over to a Chinese construction company more than four months ago.

Construction of the 73-Kilometre  Mbita-Sindo- Magunga -Sori road was handed over to China Civil Engineers Construction Corporation in early July but the work has not begun.

The road traverses Suba North and Suba South constituencies in Homa Bay county and Nyatike constituency in Migori county.

But many residents of the two counties are now worried of why the construction has not begun.

The concern has attracted attention of Homa Bay County Commissioner Moses Lilan who wants the contractor to start the work immediately to enable residents start getting the expected benefit.

Speaking when he led the County Development Implementation and Communication Committee (CDICC) in tour of the road, Lilan said residents were suffering due to impassability of the road during rainy seasons.

He said poor state of the road was impeding economic development hence it was a high time the contractor went to site.

"There are complaints that residents cannot access health facilities or markets due to the poor state of this road. However, it is now three months since it was handed to the contractor but nothing is going on," Lilan said.

He told the contractor to ensure the construction ends within the stipulated time.

He told the contractor to work closely the National Government departmental heads to get the requisite approvals for smooth implementation of the project.

"My office is ready to accord the contractor all the necessary support they required to speed implementation of the project. I don’t expect any more delay because the ongoing situation will work against residents who need services," Lilan added.

The Director Presidential Delivery Unit in the county Jared Buoga said the government had made all arrangements for implementation of the project hence the work should have commenced immediately.

However, the construction company’s Xiao Hongzhi said their efforts were impeded by Covid-19 pandemic which impeded transportation of equipment from China to Kenya and prolonged rains in the area.

“The prolonged rainfall has also impeded our efforts starting the project. We are making all possible arrangements to ensure the project implementation kicks off when the rains stop,” said Hongzhi.

Residents expressed concerns that the delay is exacerbating the problems they have had due to poor state of the road.

“We expected the beginning of economic growth in this area when the road was handed over to the contractor. We call for intervention of the government,” said Evance Odhiambo, a resident of Suba South constituency.  

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