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The Sh1b 24-km road that ‘can’t be built because of sewage, poor drainage’

CENTRAL
By Gitau Wanyoike | April 14th 2021
The 24-kilometer Gatuanyaga Ring Road project was launched in November 2020. [Gitau Wanyoike,, Standard]

Construction of the 24-kilometer Gatuanyaga Ring Road in Thika, Kiambu County has stalled over the contractor’s alleged inability to navigate the terrain, which is riddled with waste water and poor drainage.

Users will have to wait longer for the completion of the road, which had earlier been scheduled for launch in 30 months, from November 2020.

The carriageway stretches through Muguga, Ngurai, Munyu, Githima, Kang’oki and back to the Thika-Garissa Highway.

Interways Works Limited, the company assigned the construction task, suggested that poor drainage lines and human waste disposal systems posed difficulty to the ongoing construction.

The company’s engineer, Margaret Muchai, however, declined to comment on questions about the construction stalling, stating only the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) resident engineer could respond to Standard Digital’s queries.

KURA representative, Eng. Benjamin Asin, who is the agency’s assistant director, said heavy rainfall pounding the area have made it impossible to continue with construction works as most parts of the road are flooded.

“Construction works can only resume after rainfall subsides. The type of soil in Thika cannot allow for road-building to continue under wet circumstances,” he stated.

Asin said the Authority, previously, had to deal with land encroachment, which led to delays in construction.

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On the sewer line that has reportedly been damaged, leading to flowing of human waste onto the worksite, Asin said the agency will ask Thika Water and Sewerage Company to repair the affected section so that the contractor can resume duty.

Of late, the road has been impassable for vehicles, with residents forced to rely on motorbike for transportation to and from the remote villages of Githima and Kang’oki.

Locals claim the incomplete project has led to the rise of insecurity in the area as criminals would hide in roadside thickets to target passersby.

Gacheru Njau, a resident, said police surveillance has been affected by the poor road network.

Cecilia Nyambura, an elderly native of Gatuanyaga, said accessing health facilities has been difficult due to the road’s impassibility.

On Wednesday, April 14, journalists from Kenya’s main media organisations conducted a spot-check on the project. A motorcycle carrying KBC cameraperson, Anthony Kioko, and Citizen correspondent, Moses Ngige, thudded against the muddy road after it failed to gain enough power to propel it past a flooded section of the roadway.

During the launch of the project in November 2020, Thika MP, Patrick Wainaina, said the road would help in opening up the town to other trade centres.

The Gatuanyaga Ring Road is a Class B structure, which is 6.5 meters wide, and has provisions for pedestrian walkways and cyclist lanes.

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