Residents protest over poor workmanship at rural access road

Irate residents of Kisii Estate within Thika West Sub-County are up in arms over a contractor they accuse of poor workmanship of a 2 kilometre road that developed potholes in a record 2 weeks after completion.

The residents have expressed their displeasure in the way the Mwangaza Primary School-Munyu road was upgraded into bitumen standards but started degenerating soon after.

The contractor, Dennix Limited, was said to have done the carpeting works in a record one month, though the project was scheduled to be completed by the end of July 2018, according to the construction signboard that they had erected sometime in February this year.

The residents are now demanding for an explanation from the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) resident engineer who oversaw the road upgrade.

According to a resident of the area John Ngatia, when they confronted the contractor to explain why they were doing shoddy job, he responded that the contract had been awarded very little money and that if they wanted a better job, they should ask the government to allocate more money for the same.

The tarmac has been placed on mud and no murram has been used. The road is very narrow. The thickness of the tarmac used is less than half an inch and drainage has not been provided for. When we confronted him, he told us that he was given little money, he explained.

Ngatia called on the government to closely monitor road construction companies before awarding them tenders, adding that some of them were handpicked by government officers out to reap from the deal, thus majority of those picked were either quacks or employees of the awarders of the tender.

Area MP, Eng. Patrick Wainaina who visited the controversial road promised to lodge a formal complaint with the KURA Director General and the Parliamentary Committee on Roads to investigate possible improprieties at the road project.

Speaking from the site on Wednesday, Wainaina called for the immediate investigations into the project, adding that if possible, the contractor should be forced to refund monies paid to him for breach of contract.

This, he said, would serve as an example that the government no longer condones misuse of tax payers’ money and also serve as a deterrent measure to other rogue companies who have perfected the act of defrauding the public.

The legislator further suggested that the contractor should have his license cancelled and be blacklisted forthwith.

I will not allow this kind of work anywhere in Thika and contractors working in the area should be prepared to be accountable and transparent in the way they spend public funds, he warned.

Wainaina directed that the project be stopped with immediate effect and the engineer who gave the road a clean bill of health be investigated, adding that the shoddy job was an outright theft of over Sh.70 million paid out for nothing but substandard work.

Source: Kenya News Agency