As the backbone of the famous Mau-Mau route takes shape, contractors have voiced concerns that heavy brief rains could delay their completion. The project should be completed by the end of the year.
Sporadic heavy rains along the hilly terrain have already slowed down construction progress, especially in the Murang’a district.
According to the National Highways Authority (KeNHA) of Kenya, the Kiambu section with two contractors was 25 percent complete by September 10, while in Nyeri progress was 20 percent.
Work in Murang’a County, where 153 km of the main Mau Mau motorway is being built, is estimated at 15 percent. Sporadic rains have caused disruptions, mainly in the form of landslides, creating a new need for soil stabilization.
KeNHA said the Gataka-Githiga-Kamahindu section in Kiambu District had 22 km to go, while the Ngewa-Kibichoi-Wangui section was 50 km.
According to Ezekiel Fukwo, the engineer overseeing the project, the Mau Mau network will be completed by the end of December.
Mr Fukwo said contractors were working to regain lost time on sunny days. âThe terrain is tough too, but the teams on site aim to deliver within the allotted time,â he said.
The KeNHA multi-billion shilling project will connect four Mt. Kenya counties and Nakuru in the Rift Valley.
The road is considered an honor for the Mau Mau war veterans as it was first made usable during the War of Liberation in the Aberdare Forest.
“The Njabini-Naivasha tributary, which will be connected to the main spine in Aberdare Forest, is slated for completion in November and is currently 67 percent,” said Fukwo.
The project also includes the rebuilding of the existing Thika-Magumu motorway, which also runs through the Aberdare Forest.
The construction of the 540 km long motorway sparked an enthusiasm for tourism expeditions in the region, which is mainly dotted with picturesque tea cultivation ridges.
James Karanja, a businessman in Kandara, says the road will open up the area that has been closed for decades and accelerate the development of the fertile hinterland.
“As soon as the road is ready, I will set up a milk cooler all over Nyandarua to help farmers who have sold their products to middlemen at throw-away prices,” said Karanja.
Mercy Mwai, entrepreneur, is looking for the most suitable area for a tourist hotel. “I traveled the route from Kamahindu in Kiambu County three weeks ago,” Ms. Mwai said.
Transport CS James Macharia said no money was spent on the land purchase as the existing reservation was large enough.