Governor Waiguru launches major bridge across River Nyamindi
Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru on Tuesday commissioned Mahiga-ini Bridge, connecting two wards across Nyamindi River. The bridge brings relief to residents of Murinduko and Gathigiriri wards who from time immemorial have had to endure using a makeshift bridge to cross the river posing a risk to their lives and making transport an expensive affair.
The bridge is expected to spur economic growth by easing transportation of agricultural produce to the market and increasing employment opportunities in the transport sector such as bodaboda.
Before its construction, area residents used to travel 14 kilometers to Wang’uru Market. This is because their nearest market, Ngurubani, which is only seven kilometers away, remained cut off by Nyamindi River. The distance and the transport cost have now been cut by half. The bridge is also of great help to hundreds of bodaboda operators who earn a living through the transport business. They no longer have to fear slipping into the river as used to happen when using the makeshift bridge. Access public institutions such as schools and health facilities will greatly improve.
Others vital bridges that the county has built in the last one year are Kiamanyeki-Ciagini, Kaimiri-Gakarara, Kibukure and ongoing Gachiria Moyo. The governor said that the county has embarked on a massive road improvement program that will open up the interior parts of the county for sustained social and economic development. She said that this financial year, the county targets to cover 1,500 kilometers of roads across the county. Of these, 250 kilometers will be murrumed while 1,250 will be graded.
Last financial year, the county improved 21 roads covering 1,100 kilometers whereby 201 kilometers were murrumed and 900 kilometers were graded. Governor Waiguru said better roads have led to improved household incomes since families can easily transport their farm produce, such as bananas, vegetables and rice to the market. She noted that accessibility within the local towns has also been improved making it easy for people to look for jobs in nearby towns and easily commute from their homes.
She pointed out that construction of bridges is a critical component in the road improvement program since it creates connection for areas previously separated by rivers and also enhances exchange of goods and services across the rivers.
To enhance the road improvement program, the County Government last year purchased road construction equipment. The equipment includes five graders, 10 trucks-20tons, two excavators, one low bed/loader, one backhoe, two roller-compactors and one water bowser.