The Star (Nairobi)

6 August 2012

Kenya: Three Contractors to Build the New Western Carriageway

The long-awaited expansion of the Kisumu-Kakamega-Kitale road to a dual carriageway will start in October, Planning minister Wycliffe Oparanya has said. Oparanya at the weekend said tenders for the Sh10 billion road have already been awarded to three contractors. The funds are being provided by the World Bank and the government.

One contractor will build the road between Kisumu and Kakamega. The second will build the section between Kakamega and Webuye while the third contractor will deal with the final section between Webuye and Kitale. Oparanya made the announcement on Saturday during the burial of Henry Sakaya, the father of Kakamega ODM treasurer Musavini Nambwa at Tombo village in Malava.

He said the expansion of the road is critical for the economic growth of Kakamega county besides easing traffic flow on the busy road. "The road will link the city of Kisumu to Western region and allow residents to engage in meaningful horticultural farming and utilise the Kisumu international airport," Oparanya said.

The road dissects Kakamega and Bungoma counties crossing the great Northern road in Webuye. Kakamega ODM secretary Martin Andati, Vihiga chairman Ken Butiko and coordinator George Muyera attended the funeral where politics took centrestage. Oparanya said ODM's manifesto emphasizes improvement of infrastructure to realise Vision 2030.

On the ongoing voter registration saga, Oparanya said the government is prepared to increase the IEBC budget for the supply of Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits if need be."As a government, we are committed to ensuring credible elections next year and that is why the Cabinet insists that IEBC must register voters electronically. The commission has enough money but if need arises for more, the government will look for more money," he said

IEBC cancelled the tender for supply of the kits after two potential companies failed to meet due diligence requirements.Oparanya said that reverting to manual voter listing will erode Kenyans' confidence in the electoral process.

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