Developers demolish structures on Thika bypass corridor

MP lauds them for heeding to directive by Kura to pave the way for first phase of tarmacking of Thika bypass

In Summary

• MP Wainaina had raised concern over the encroachment on the road reserve. 

• Some developers knew they were on the road reserve and are not expecting compensation. 

Workers tarmacking that BAT-Kiganjo road in Thika
DEVELOPERS COLLABORATE: Workers tarmacking that BAT-Kiganjo road in Thika
Image: John Kamau

Owners of structures built along the Thika bypass corridor have heeded  Kenya Urban Roads Authority directive and demolished them.

This gives way to the tarmacking of Phase 1 of the Sh1.8 billion Thika bypass from BAT to Kiganjo and later extension to Athena-Witeithie-Thika Superhighway.

Phase 2  involves the construction of the 15-kilometre Thika-Kenol Highway with link roads to Kenyatta Highway-Munene Industries, UTI-Pilot-Umoja, and Kenyatta Leather-Garissa Road.

Last month, during Kiambu County Development Committee tour, it was disclosed that some developers had encroached and built permanent structures on the road reserves.

Thika Town MP Patrick Wainaina raised the concern over the encroachment of the road reserves. Kura Central deputy director Jacinta Mwangi warned the developers to remove the structures before the commencement of the work.

The developers who spoke to the Star on Saturday said they would pull down the structures to pave way for tarmacking of the road.

Maurice Ndichu of Kamenu Estate said he demolished his one-storey building after realising that it was on the road corridor.

“I constructed the house in 2009 and I was aware that I’d be forced to bring it down for expansion of the road. I cannot claim any compensation. Actually, I should thank the government because I have made profits from the rental income of my house,” Ndichu said.

The developer said Kenyans should shun the habit and tendency of demanding compensation even when they are on the wrong, adding that compensating people sitting on government land has delayed many projects.

“We’ve heard instances where compensation money has bloated projects’ budget. This should not be the case, we all need these development projects,” he said.

Virginia Wairimu brought down a section of the perimeter wall on her premises.

The MP said during the commissioning of the laying of tarmac on Friday, thanked the developers for acting swiftly and removing their structures.

“No one created a fuss and they all obeyed the directive to remove the structures. This is the way to go because construction will be swift for the benefit of residents and business people living and operating in this area,” he said.

The tarmacking is expected to be completed in six months.

The 3km  BAT-Kiganjo stretch had been in a pitiable state, causing agony to boda boda and matatu operators as well as the over 60,000 residents of Kamenu and Kiganjo estates.

Some of the operators who spoke to the Star said they had incurred huge losses due to the deplorable state of the road since their vehicles were wearing down faster.

“Some of the matatu owners had even withdrawn their vehicles from this route due to the damage on their vehicles. This project is a godsend,” driver Samuel Kamau said.

Some link roads to the by-pass including Engen-Kiganjo Corner Four and Broadway-Kiandutu-Athena-Kiganjo have been completed.

The MP said the Kenya National Highways Authority has agreed to build two new interchanges leading to Thika town to end the perennial traffic congestion at the Thika flyover and the Blue Post flyover that link Thika Superhighway to Garissa and Gatanga roads respectively.

The agency will also expand and upgrade both the Thika-Kenol and the Thika-Garissa highways to dual carriage.

“KeNHA has promised to expand Thika-Garissa highway all the way to Kilimambogo, with the first phase of the project going up to Ananas Mall in Makongeni,” Wainaina said. 

The new developments will open up Thika, which is Kiambu county’s main industrial hub, to more investments, he said. 

Edited by R.Wamochie