You are embarrassing me, Murkomen tells Kericho residents over poor roads demos

Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen when he appeared before the Senate Standing Committee on Roads ,Transport and Housing on March 3, 2023. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen has told residents of Kericho County to stop embarrassing the Kenya Kwanza government by holding protests over poor conditions of roads in the region.

Speaking in Sossiot grounds in Belgut constituency last Sunday, Murkomen expressed his disappointment as he recounted the recent viral news coverage of demonstrations highlighting the dilapidated state of the Kapsoit-Sossiot-Sondu road.

"We are cognisant of our obligation to Kericho residents, just as we owe all Kenyans, to construct and maintain roadways. While some of Kericho's roads remain in good condition, there are undoubtedly those that have fallen into disrepair. We acknowledge this reality and are committed to addressing it," he said.

Accompanied by fellow cabinet colleagues Florence Bore (Labour) and Davies Chirchir (Energy), as well as Kericho Governor Erick Mutai, MPs Nelson Koech (Belgut), and Justice Kemei (Soin/Sigowet), Murkomen unveiled plans to prioritise the contentious Kapsoit-Sossiot road as part of an extensive road development project in Kericho.

Scheduled for commencement by February next year, the road construction project holds significant importance.

"Resist the urge to stage protests along this roadway, and instead, if you intend to cultivate bananas, do so within the confines of your private farms," said Murkomen.

Notably, another road on the government's agenda is the Kabianga-Changquary route.

"We implore the public to exercise patience as we diligently carry out our duties. Rather than resorting to drastic measures, remember that the government remains committed to the well-being of this region. We shall not falter in our efforts," said Murkomen.

Considering the frequent passage of Kericho residents between the North Rift and vice versa, often becoming entangled in opposition-led demonstrations resulting in the barricading of the Kericho-Kisumu road at Chemelil, Muhuroni, and various points within the Nyanza region, Murkomen underscored the government's resolute commitment to construct an alternative road leading to the North Rift region.

"In the next two years, we are actively designing and preparing to construct the Ainamoi-Fort-Ternan-Tindiret-Eldoret road," said the Transport CS.

Murkomen revealed plans to enhance transportation connectivity by constructing the Kerenga Airstrip.

This development aims to expedite the movement of people and goods, including crucial horticultural products, in and out of the county.

"Our aspiration is for the county government, in collaboration with the County Assembly, to acquire land from Ekaterra tea company for the expansion of the airstrip's runway, extending it to a minimum of two kilometers," Murkomen disclosed.

Furthering the government's agenda, Labour Cabinet Secretary Florence Bore unveiled a bold initiative to generate a million overseas employment opportunities within the ensuing year, with a notable focus on the United Arab Emirates and fifteen other nations.

"The forthcoming establishment of migration offices across various counties, including Kericho, serves as a testament to the government's preparedness for this initiative," Bore detailed.

Energy Cabinet Secretary Davies Chirchir accentuated the government's unwavering dedication to diminishing electricity costs and ensuring the extension of the Last Mile electricity program to previously under-served regions over the forthcoming two years.

"This endeavor's core objective is to empower local investors, enabling them to establish cottage industries," he said.