Bridge destroyed by heavy rains

Residents of Kaibos village in Kapenguria division of West Pokot County are unable to access Kapenguria town after the only bridge that connects the two areas was washed away by heavy rains.

The bridge situated few kilometres from Kapenguria town was washed away on Sunday evening by raging waters in the midst of heavy down pour which has hampered transport in the area.

The bridge is used by farmers, business people to Makutano Township market in Kapenguria and also patients to Kapenguria County referral hospital and other health facilities.

The bridge is located along the Kapenguria-Siyoi-Kaibos road.

Commuters from the villages and Makutano town are now forced to use Talau-Kaibos Siyoi route before going to Kapenguria which is about 15kms longer.

Other affected areas are Embashatt, Talau and Siyoi which have been rendered impassable as the road network in the area has been destroyed by the floods.

Speaking at the scene on Monday, the area residents led by youth leader, Andrew Powon pointed out that many farmers had lost their perishable farm produce.

He added that 3,000 litres of milk were spoilt every day after the bridge collapsed.

More than 3000 people use the bridge daily for various purposes, majority of them farmers who are now counting huge losses due to the heavy rains being experienced in the area as they are unable to transport their produce to the market, he said.

We are forced to use a long route which is time consuming. It is difficult to transport goods from our farms, he lamented.

The bridge was in apathetic state and it was hard for young children and sick people to cross the river, said Powon.

The locals called on the County and national governments to intervene and help to construct the bridge.

We want the bridge constructed. The boda boda business has been affected as people are not willing to pay more to cover the longer distance, said Nelson Sikuku, a boda boda rider.

The County roads and infrastructure Executive Committee member, Luka Chepelion who visited the scene promised to put up a temporary bridge, saying the county was not able to put up a permanent bridge as it had not received funds from the national treasury.

We do not have money in the County at the moment and so we shall construct it with logs as a temporary measure. We also have 5 more bridges which need more than sh.40 million to construct, said Chepelion.

He urged the National Treasury Cabinet Secretary, Henry Rotich to release money to counties to help rehabilitate bad roads and improve infrastructure in the County.

There is no money to repair roads because the funds have not been released by the national government. We hope that soon the national treasury will do the necessary, he said.

Source: Kenya News Agency