KeNHA cancels Mau Mau road tender for Nyeri to Nyandarua

An aerial view of Mau Mau road cutting across the rural set up in Central Kenya designed to connect the counties of Kiambu, Murang'a, Nyeri and Nyandarua. [Boniface Gikandi, Standard]

The cancellation of a section of Mau Mau road has dampened hopes of traders in Kiambu, Murang’a and Nyeri counties who were eyeing to establish links with farmers in Nyandarua.

The design of the 54km stretch connecting the counties to Nyandarua through the Aberdare Forest hit headwinds after Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) cancelled the tender for Lot Four covering the section between Ihururu and Njabini.

In a statement, KeNHA said the decision followed the failure to get Environmental Impact Assessment approvals from Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Kenya Forest Service (KFS) and National Environment Management Authority (Nema).

“The EIA approvals would have granted KeNHA possession of site for the 33km stretch from Kiandogoro Gate to Mutubio Gate, which is under Aberdare National Park and Abedare Forest,” KeNHA said.

The proposed road project would have destroyed the natural forest in the Aberdare ecosystem.

The proposed Ihithe-Aberdare  Forest-Kahuruko-Ndunyu Njeru road realignment is supposed to traverse 25 kilometres of closed canopy.

The road was to cost Sh4.4 billion and was expected to be completed by next year.

However, the roads authority has assured Kenyans that the ongoing Mau Mau roads project traversing Kiambu, Murang’a and Nyeri would not be affected by the cancellation.

Peter Kamande, a resident of Kangari market in Kigumo, Murang’a County expressed disappointment over the cancellation of the project.

Kamande said the project, if completed, would have supported the rural economy a great deal.

“Since they have been fighting over the destruction of the environment, the planners should just plan for planting trees to replace those damaged in the construction,” he said.

Teresa Njambi, a resident of Githabai village in Nyandarua County, said the potato farmers will suffer over the decision as they were eyeing the market in Murang’a, Kirinyaga and parts of Eastern region through the shorter route.

“The distance is shorter and hundreds of traders would find it easy to come to Nyandarua for the produce,” said Njambi.