Sh100m Kajiado bridge collapses just a week after commissioning


Residents of Serengei area in Kajiado stand at Paai Bridge which collapsed on Wednesday following a heavy downpour [Peterson Githaiga, Standard]

A new bridge that cost Kajiado County Government Sh100 million has collapsed just days after governor Joseph ole Lenku commissioned it. Paai bridge, which was constructed across River Orkeriai in Kajiado East, collapsed following heavy rains on Tuesday and Wednesday night.

Residents remained stranded after pillars supporting the aqueduct gave in to the pressure floods and collapsed.

The bridge was meant to connect three wards; Matapato North (Kajiado Central), Eselenkei (Kajiado South), and Kenyawa Poka Ward in Kajiado East sub-county.

River Orkeriai often breaks its banks during the rainy seasons cutting off residents from livestock markets and essential services including at government offices and hospitals.

The bridge was also meant to help residents to cross the river to access the services at Loitokitok, Kajiado, and Mashuuru towns.

There were no casualties or injuries.

While commissioning the bridge, the governor said it would also help horticultural farmers to get their produce to the market on time.

County Roads and Public Works minister Alex Kilowua who visited the area termed the incident a natural calamity.

According to him, due process was followed during the construction of the bridge. "The bridge experienced a tilting of the pier caused by the unprecedented heavy flow of flash floods on River Olkeriai, one of the biggest rivers in Kajiado County," said Kilowua.

He added: "The heavy rains diverted the already swollen river to one side of the pier, exerting pressure that caused it to tilt on one side."

The minister said no money will be lost as the contract for the bridge is still within the defect liability period. 

He said the county has directed the contractor to start the reconstruction of the pier immediately. "We have further mobilized our engineers and consultants to assess the situation fully and give us a detailed report by Monday next week," said Kilowua.

Residents appealed to the county government to move with speed and repair the bridge.

By Brian Ngugi 57 secs ago
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