Residents of Katani area in Mavoko sub-county are up in arms against a Chinese construction company for subcontracting another entity which they allege was delaying the rehabilitation works on an access road to the residential estate.
Through a letter dated April 8 and copied to both the Cabinet Secretary for Roads and Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA), the inhabitants accuse the China Wu Yi company of breach of contract by subletting the work of tarmacking the Mlolongo-Athi River -Joska road which they claim is being poorly done.
They have similarly decried at the slow pace the subcontractor, Bixxon Company is taking in repairing the seven-kilometer stretch of Mother Theresa-Quarry road which they say has greatly inconvenienced movement of both traffic and people.
“The contractor is not doing any good work and just like the last contractor, Ogle, we may end up having more shoddy and messy work and not equivalent to Government value for money. The big question from the residents is why did China Wu Yi subcontract such as company without capacity why is the contractor seeking out the top laid excavated murram instead of placing it to feeder roads,” read part of the letter seen by KNA and signed by Katani Cosmopolitan Association chair Jimmy Nguli.
The members have similarly accused the contractor of going ahead in creating a diversion near the Katani secondary school which has proved impassable due to the soggy nature of the soil in total disregard to the advice by the area residents.
They are now appealing to KURA to compel China Wu Yi to take over the construction work or else cancel the contract and float new tenders.
“Let’s have China Wu Yi do the work or the contract be canceled and awarded to some other contractor. In fact, having seen the good quality roads done by China Wu Yi, we had a lot of hope that the same would be translated to the Katani Road network. But we are seriously disappointed,” they have lamented in the letter which was marked ‘Received’ at the Ministry of Roads registry on April 13, 2021.
They also want the creation of an alternative diversion to ease movement of both pedestrians and motorist in and out of the expansive estate claiming the current situation has hampered movement including those intending to seek essential services such as medical help.
“As the works go on, a motorable diversion should be done and maintained to ensure near-normal traffic flows as the residents and others contribute to the economy through their day to day activities,”appealed to the residents.
One of the residents Janet Ndunge said life has been difficult due to the deplorable state of the road which was supposed to have been completed by last year.
She says since the contractor took over the work, businesses in the area have been affected to a great deal while children have been forced to skip school on many occasions.
Ndunge has therefore called for a speedy resolution to the problems to enable a resumption of normal activities in the area.
“The road is a living nightmare. Scenes of vehicles being bogged down along this stretch is now a common phenomenon affecting the movement of both goods and services in and out of the residential estate. We are appealing to the government to intervene and ensure this mess is rectified and ease our suffering of the people in this estate,” she appealed.
Isaac Moma Nyangaya said he has lived in the estate for years and has never witnessed such a situation along the stretch road.
Nyangaya who in his twilight years has however blamed the Chinese company for awarding the repair work to a nondescript entity that has proved beyond reasonable doubt that it is not up to the task.
“The sub-contractor came and removed the murram that was here with promises to make the road better, but he never did so and ended up putting rocks on the road. Our appeal is for Kura to get a qualified contractor and have this work done and in a professional manner,” he said.
When KNA contacted Machakos County KURA Director Engineer Musa Murunga said the matter was being handled from Nairobi and was therefore not in a position to comment on the issue.