THREE PER CENT DONE

Sh30bn Mau Mau road works going according to plan, says CS

The 540-kilometre project to be completed in two years.

In Summary

• The road will follow routes used by Mau Mau fighters in and out of Aberdare forest.

• Of the total length, 153 kilometres will pass through Murang'a and will cost Sh6.4 billion.

Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia (centre) leads a team of government officials in inspecting the Mau Mau road project at Kiamara in Kangema.
Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia (centre) leads a team of government officials in inspecting the Mau Mau road project at Kiamara in Kangema.
Image: Alice Waithera
Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia (in black suit) leads a team of government officials in inspecting part of the Mau Mau roads project at Kiamara in Kangema last Friday.
Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia (in black suit) leads a team of government officials in inspecting part of the Mau Mau roads project at Kiamara in Kangema last Friday.
Image: Alice Waithera

@Alicewangechi

The Sh30 billion Mau Mau road project is three per cent done and is on course for completion in two years, Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia has said.

The CS inspected the project in Kiambu, Murang’a and Nyeri counties last Friday.  The 540km road includes the routes used by Mau Mau freedom fighters during the struggle for independence as they got in and out of the Aberdare Forest. Of the total length, 153km will pass through Murang’a county and will cost Sh6.4 billion.

Macharia said the government has made an advance payment of Sh640 million to the contractor to ensure the project goes according to plan.

“I came to make sure we are on target. I'm happy the contractor has started and is on course. The contractor is one of the largest in the country and has the capacity to carry out the project,” Macharia said.

The road passes through the most productive areas of the region just next to the Aberdare Forest and will boost farming activities while also helping in the commemoration of Mau Mau veterans.

The CS expressed confidence that the region will be transformed in two years as the road will facilitate marketing and transport of farm produce and also empower farmers. By creating permanent connectivity, the government will not only boost the economy but also create employment opportunities for thousands of Kenyans, he said.

"The road will start at Limuru, through Kibichoi in Kiambu, through Gatura in Gatanga, Kinyona in Kigumo, Ichichi in Kangema and end in Nyeri. We are proud that even though it has taken many years, we have done this project to remember the freedom fighters,” Macharia said.

He, however, warned that shoddy contractors will not only be blacklisted but also prosecuted. He instructed county commissioners to conduct regular inspections of infrastructure projects to ensure contractors complete them as required.

Those whose work falls below the standards will have committed a criminal offence by squandering public funds, the CS warned. The government is also investing heavily in the railway network to ensure more areas are connected and to enhance transport services.

“We started with the standard gauge railway, which was launched on Madaraka Day in 2017, providing intercity services from Mombasa to Nairobi,” he said.

The government is also working on the intra-service railway line within the Nairobi metropolis and inter-county railway service from Nairobi through Thika, Murang’a, Nyeri to Nanyuki.

“Already, cargo trains are going to Nanyuki and we are waiting for confirmation on when the President will commission it and then passenger trains will be scheduled,” he added.

Another railway line from Naivasha to Malaba and from Naivasha through Nakuru to Kisumu is being worked on and will see many parts of the country covered to further boost development.

“We want to have the country well networked because no country can develop without a proper and robust transport network,” the CS said.

 

Edited by F'Orieny