NAIROBI, Kenya, December 2 – Residents of Embakasi’s Gate B Estate have issued a two-month ultimatum to the Nairobi County to rehabilitate a 1.2km pothole-ridden access road while faulting the Mike Sonko-led administration for inaction despite numerous petitions.
The Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) has denied responsibility for the sorry state of Fedha Roads, which the Sonko administration insists is among some 40 roads earmarked for rehabilitation by the agency in a partnership between the county and national government under the Nairobi Regeneration Program.
Teddy Obiero, the community leader for Tassia, Nyayo and Fedha residents and business association said the despite assurances that the road will be refurbish Fedha Road, resources have not been committed to finance the rehabilitation.
“KURA told us that the road is actually under the Nairobi Regeneration Program but the only problem is that its is an orphan road because funds have not been allocated,” he remarked during a demonstration Monday morning when residents barricaded the road linking the estate to Outer Ring Road to demand for its rehabilitation.
Public Service Vehicle (PSV) operators kept off the road on Monday forcing residents to walk 1.2km to Outer Ring Road with others opting for a boda boda ride.
Martha Owuor, a resident at Gate B Estate said school-going children and nursing mothers were increasingly finding it difficult to access schools and hospitals, due to the dilapidated state of the road.
“It doesn’t matter what agency the road falls under the reality is that the road is in a very bad state. Mothers are suffering and those with sick children can’t even be able to access medical facilities,” she remarked.
“We’ve come put today to say that the middle class is coming out of just being keyboard warriors and demand for what is rightfully theirs,” the Gate B Estate resident said.
Another resident said potholes on the 1.2km stretch had over time contributed to a rise in crime subjecting motorists to extortion by criminal gangs.
“This road is simply impassable, and potholes are bringing about a lot of insecurity. People are being robbed of their possessions,” Felix Choni asserted.
Responding to a petition by residents, Governor Mike Sonko claimed that his administration had committed Sh900 million to KURA, a balk of which – Sh800 million – had already been paid to the agency for rehabilitation of several roads in the city.
Sonko insisted that Fedha Road was among infrastructure earmarked for restoration.
“As a County Government, we made a commitment to pay Sh900 million to KURA as our part of the contribution towards the rehabilitation of diverse roads including Fedha Road under the programme by the Authority in the last Financial Year 2018/19. As of July 12, 2019, we had paid Sh800 Million to KURA,” he stated.
The National government through KURA contributed Sh1.97 billion under Road Maintenance Levy Fund.