Bungoma's Sh1.38 billion dual carriageway faces fresh hurdle

Nema says the county government has not presented an environmental assessment report

In Summary

• Activists have already moved to court to stop the project.

• Bungoma Governor Wycliff Wangamati says he is ready to face 'enemies of development'.

The letter by NEMA county boss written to the activists
NEMA Letter The letter by NEMA county boss written to the activists

The Sh1.38 billion Musikoma-Kanduyi dual carriageway faces a fresh bump after Nema said the Bungoma government has not presented an environmental assessment report.

In a letter dated April 16, 2019,  the National Environmental Management Authority county director Rop Kipkoech said they have not seen the report. 

Rights groups have also moved to court seeking to block the multi-billion shilling highway, saying the national government should build it. They also cite the lack of public participation and an environmental impact report. 

The activists said the respondents violated the Constitution, the Roads Act of 2007, and the Environmental Management and Coordination act 1999. They want all work stopped.

The High Court in Kisumu set April 30 for the hearing of a petition between Bungoma government and human rights activists.  A Chinese construction company is already on site at Musikoma.

On April 11, human rights activists John Khaoya Wekesa and Raphael Makokha obtained orders to serve the county for an inter-parties hearing that could stop works on the Musikoma-Kanduyi road.

The activists claim gross violation of the Constitution, none adherence to the rule of law and failure to due process with regard to the construction of class C-33 Kenha road from Sang’alo junction to Kanduyi junction.

 In the petition dated April 9, the duo has sued Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati, Roads executive Collins Mukhongo, chief officer Maurice Marango, the Director General of Kenha, the Attorney General and the Controller of the Budget are listed as respondents.

They want the court to interpret, among other issues, whether the county and its officials violated the Constitution by awarding Sh60 to 70 million in 2018-19 on the Kenha road from Musikoma to Kanduyi.

 Wangamati has warned people filing cases in courts to derail his development projects that he will not negotiate with them.

He said projects will not be stopped by extortionists who are rushing to court with frivolous reasons, expecting to be called for an out of court settlement or for bribes.

Speaking in Muanda, South Bukusu ward of Bumula constituency during the burial of South Bukusu MCA Sudi Kalasinga’s mother on April 13, Wangamati told residents he is ready to face off in court with the petitioners he called enemies of development. 

Edited by Pamela Wanambisi