A road contractor in Kitui has halted construction demanding Sh230 million from Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA) for completed works before returning to site.
The contractor has written to KeRRA seeking an advisory whether to proceed or halt the road construction terming the payment delays an indicator that his liquidity has hit an all-time low.
The 35 km Nuu-Nguni Road contractor in Mwingi Central said that he has depleted all his reserve resources following the delayed payments despite raising three milestone certificates and called on the government to expedite his dues.
The delay saw the contractor leave site for seven months from December 2020 to June 2021 further complicating the completion period of the road pegged at January 14, 2020 despite getting a time extension for eight months to complete the works by September 2020.
In a statement released to the press on Wednesday, ADMO Construction (K) LTD Managing Director Mohamed Adan said that out of the contract sum of Sh1.4 billion to tarmac the road, he has received a paltry Sh400 million from the government despite raising milestone certificates of Sh650 million.
“I need the intervention of the government to release the remaining funds of the raised certificates to enable me complete this project launched on June 30, 2017 by President Uhuru Kenyatta,” said Adan.
KeRRA Eastern Region Manager Eng Mbavu Sayo confirmed the status during the County Development Implementation Coordination Committee (CDICC) chaired by Kitui County Commissioner Thomas Sankei at the Mwingi Central DCC’s office saying that the road is at 75 per cent complete.
“The remaining stretch is about three kilometres. Since I rely on my own funding, I sought project extension as I wait to see if I will be paid for the completed milestones,” said Adan.
Despite the delayed payment, he noted that he drives for 29 kilometres to the nearest water source to get fetch water for the road project. “I tried digging boreholes unsuccessfully, and the water table is quite deep,” he said.
Eng. Mbavu called for patience from the contractor as the matter is escalated to the relevant organs for action.
He said that the low volume road has helped ease movement of people and goods in the area that is hampered during the rainy season.
“This road was dilapidated following years of neglect and erosion during the wet season. It was impassable and locals had difficulty seeking medical services among other needs. Those challenges will be addressed when this road is completed,” said the KeRRA Regional Manager.
He said that enforcement officers would be deployed along the road to carry out impromptu road axle weight checks of trucks to deter any user from excessive loads.
“Improving feeder roads that connect rural areas with main roads and urban centres contributes to inclusive economic growth by generating new low-skilled jobs and providing access to further employment opportunities,” said Eng. Mbavu