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Ndhiwa MP Martin Owino has appealed to the national government to construct the dilapidated 48 km Rodi Kopany –Sori road. The road has also claimed lives of people in recent past. The once tarmacked road has been having several potholes for more than eight years.
The road connects the busy Migori County’s Sori town which is rich in fish production to a number of towns in Homa Bay and Kisumu counties. This causes difficulties in transport as motorists are obliged to drive on private land to avoid the portholes.
On Monday, MP Owino said the government has delayed to reconstruct the road despite Cabinet Secretary for Transport James Macharia being aware of its condition.
Speaking when he toured the road , Owino said the government has continually delayed with construction of the road even though it had been classified under KeNHA from KURA. “I have personally applied diplomatic way to mobilize the ministry of transport to construct the road but no action had been taken. Let the government fulfill its promise to help many Kenyans who depend on it,” Owino said..
The legislator expressed concerns that the road is jeopardizing economic growth of Ndhiwa constituency. “Fish from Sori and agricultural products cannot be transported effectively because of poor state of this road,” he said. Women in Ndhiwa expressed concerns over deaths which occur when expectant mothers with complications and other patients travel on the road after being referred from Ndhiwa to Homa Bay County Referral hospital. The road is also known for fatal accidents. “It takes one two hours to travel from Ndhiwa to Homa Bay town instead of 20 minutes because of the poor state of the road. This has led to deaths of women who develop complications during labour pain,” said Roda Atieno, resident.
Motorists led by George Otengo said complained that the road makes them incur a lot of losses.
“We waste more than two and hours because the road state. We also spend a lot of money we make in repairing our vehicles due to portholes on the road,” Otengo said. The Kenya National Highways (KeNHA) Nyanza regional director Phelix Osongo said the road used to belong to them until 2017 when it was reclassified under the Kenya Rural Roads Authority by the Kenya Roads Board.
“We are told the road is in the process of being classified back to KeNHA but we have not got official communication on the transfer,” Osongo said.
Homabay county deputy governor Hamilton decried the poor state of roads saying it has hampered the growth of the economy interms of revenue collections. “the status of the road is detrimental to business people in the region as they can’t get their products to the market on time ….it has really affected revenue collection for the county as the big tracks and psv vehicles resorting to migori route” said Orata
In July 2010, Kenya National Highways Authority assigned and awarded a certain construction firm this road to a tune of Sh1.2billion for maintenance and rehabilitation of the same road….only to become impassable.
“hii barabara ilipewa kampuni ingine hapa …na walifanya shoddy work after few years ikaanza kuwa na mashimo shimo” Dave nyakwaka aresident added
Many motorists have been suffering as vehicles are extensively damaged with passengers wasting many hours traveling because vehicles must carefully look for alternative passages off the main “road” including driving on private plots.
“this has also forced us to hike transport cost as away of getting enough money to service their vehicles” said David Ouma a matatu driver