Kirinyaga County adopts new road construction technology to enhance durability
Kirinyaga County Government has adopted the use of a more effective and efficient road construction technology to enhance durability of rural access roads across the county. Construction of roads under the ongoing Nyorosha Barabara Mashinani project is utilizing a mixture of hardcore and quarry dust as the main building materials as opposed to the usual murram that was previously used.
The County Executive Committee Member for Transport, Jared Migwi, has said that once the mixture is laid on a well graded road, it is then compacted with a drum roller which gives it a compact and a smooth finish. “These materials cannot be easily washed away by storm water and roads constructed using this technology are more durable and can last for up to three years without repairs. This will not only give the taxpayers value for their money but will also save us money that can be used to cover more roads,” said Jared. He added that the county is also ensuring that the construction incorporates good storm water drainage system. He said the program has been made a success by cooperation between the county executive, the assembly and other stakeholders like the National Irrigation Authority (NIA).
Nyorosha Mashinani program which was launched by Governor Anne Waiguru projected to cover more than 500km roads across the county in the current financial year. So far 327km have been graded and more than 150 kilometers murrammed. The governor said that the program aims at achieving well drained all weather access roads. One of the wards that has greatly benefited from this program is Mutithi in Mwea. The area Member of County Assembly (MCA) Jinaro Jamumo who is also the assembly’s Deputy Speaker, said that the ongoing road rehabilitation will turn around the fortunes for his ward. The roads that have been covered include those in the peripheries of Kagio Town. The town that hosts the largest market in the county is a business hub that daily attracts thousands of traders dealing in fresh produce.
Jamumo said that good road network will enable efficient transportation of tomatoes from the farms to the market. Most of the tomatoes sold in the market come from areas such as Kianjogu and Ng’othi. Motor vehicles, motorbikes and donkey carts which are the main mode of transport in the area can now navigate around the farms collecting farm produce for transportation to the market. He said that the roads will also open up the area for real estate development as more people move in to settle around the ward’s urban and trading centers. “People will always look for areas with developed infrastructure to settle in and we are happy that the ongoing roads rehabilitation in our ward is attracting investors and settlers thereby raising the value of our land,” he said.
He added that the program is a response to calls by residents during public participation forums in which they prioritized the construction of all-weather roads across the ward. He said that the tax payer needed to get value for their money and such projects go a long way in ensuring that is achieved. He pointed out that in two weeks’ time, the program will have covered around 10 kilometers across Mutithi. He thanked the governor for prioritizing access road in her development agenda.
Lucy Wanja Karagu, 70 year old woman residing in Canaan area in the outskirts of Kagio town narrated how the previous poor state of roads affected the area residents. She said that while motor vehicles were unable to navigate around the estates, those who choose to use boda boda were not safe as they were prone to accidents due to the uneven nature and potholes that riddled the roads. Those who did not want to risk their lives opted to walk long distances which would be complicated if one had a luggage. She says that they are now enjoying motor vehicle and boda boda rides and transport has become cheaper for them.
Her sentiments were echoed by Benson Kamau, a boda boda rider from Kagio. He says that business in now booming since they are able to take their customers to the interior parts of the ward without any problem. “Whether there are rains or not, we are now carrying on with our business uninterrupted and we don’t risk having accidents due to bad roads.” he said. He lauded Governor Waiguru for the initiative saying that she is fulfilling her promises to the county residents.
In Mutira Ward, coffee farmers are the major beneficiaries of the access roads projects. “The two-kilometer stretch from Giagatogo- Mbari Ya Tubii road as well as Kauiru Kiarugu-Kariiria road will help farmers delivering coffee to Mutitu Coffee factory by a great deal,” said Bosco Gichangi, a nominated MCA who hails from Mutira. To improve on efficiency of the in-house roads program, Waiguru during her last term procured road construction equipment that include five graders, 10 trucks-20tons, two excavators, one low bed/loader, one backhoe, two roller-compactors and one water bowser.