KNA Uasin Gishu County government is keen on completing all new bridges and roads identified for construction in rural and urban areas as farmers in the county embrace growing of high value cash crops.
Persistent campaigns by the county to encourage farmers to embrace diversification by planting high value promotional crops that include tissue culture Bananas, Macadamia, Avocado and Coffee, and horticultural crops have started bearing fruit with an increasing number of farmers adopting the initiative.
The county department of Roads, Transport, Energy and Public Works has been collecting data in all high potential agricultural areas before it embarks on the construction of the new major bridges in agricultural areas where most farmers have begun harvesting coffee, a new high-value crop in the county.
The county executive committee member for Roads, Transport, Energy and Public Works Eng. Gideon Birir has been leading a team of engineers, surveyors, and inspectors in identifying the new locations for bridge construction, installation of culverts, and opening up of new roads as well as improving existing ones in an effort to increase connectivity in areas facing challenges of missing road links.
”We want the contractors who will be awarded the tenders to speed up the construction and ensure they deliver on time and final work is of quality and achieve expectations of the final users who are residents of Uasin Gishu and satisfy the department of roads,” said Birir.
In the 2021/2022 budget estimates tabled in the county assembly a week ago the County Government allocated Sh.1.8 billion to fund infrastructure projects.
”We are encouraging the constructors to employ skilled workers from within the County and continue listening to their views while undertaking the construction works, the team from my department will also be available on the ground to continue advising and monitoring the process to ensure the residents of Uasin Gishu get value for money,” stressed Eng. Birir.
The team has done an inspection of drainage improvement of Kapkanga – Corneli, Sambut-Tormoi, Cheptabuch and Kapchinja, and Baharini roads in Turbo constituency.
The team also inspected completed projects in the same Sub County including routine maintenance and spot improvement of Kipkaren (Joyland)-Labuyiet-Chepkatet roads.
The county director Roads Eng. Benjamin Kirongo said inspections on the completed Cheukta-Ngeny bridge in Barsombe, Chepsaita-Ngenyilel box Calvert in Ngenyilel, Kapsaos-Kapkoros box culvert in Kapsaos, Kabitoi-Tendwo bridge in Tembelio/Kaptagat, Kapseret-Saina box culvert in Kapseret/Simat , Kaprorio-Kapchesogor Bridge in Sergoit, Chepkitiny -Kerita bridge in Cheptiret/Kipchamo and Kapkeno-Timor bridge in Ainabkoi was going on before the final handover for use.
“We have also inspected completed road works which include drainage works at Kamagut, Kapsaos,Kapsuswa and Roads Maintenance Levy Fund (RMLF) roads at Kapkures, Barsombe, Ngenyilel and Racecourse.
Others are inspection of 2.2Km graveled Baharini-Sirwa road that connects Baharini-Sirwa road and Baharini-Turbo villages graveled Burnt Forest township -Kahuho Estate road and a box culvert connecting villages of Timor and Kapkeno.
According to Agriculture CECM Samuel Yego the construction of new bridges and roads will provide a boost in ensuring farmers who have already begun harvesting coffee and avocado as well as dairy farmer’s access markets when their produce is still fresh.
”Since 2015 the county government through the initiative of the governor, Jackson Mandago has given farmers over 1 million seedlings of high-value crops, with farmers who embraced the initiative early starting to harvest,” said Yego adding that coffee and avocado from the county has high demand locally and in the export hence the need for to have proper road connectivity in the county.
He said several international Companies such as CMC and Great Rift Coffee miller, Sunribe, Biofam, Keitt, and Abex Agro Limited had established offices in Uasin Gishu County to purchase the cash crops.
Dairy farming has also improved significantly since the county began subsidizing semen lowering the cost of quality sexed semen to Sh. 1500 as well as constructing 46 milk cooling plants across the county.
Recently the governor launched a programme dubbed operation Maziwa lita Kumi which supports dairy farmers to rear two dairy cows that each produces at least 10 liters of milk per day.