The government has disbursed Sh1.1 billion to compensate at least 360 families that were displaced during the construction of the Eldoret town bypass in Uasin Gishu County.
Kenya National Highway Authority, KeNHA Eldoret bypass project coordinator Engineer David Cherono however said the National Treasury was yet to release the Sh3 billion to offset pending compensation package for the remaining 540 person affected by the project, (PAPs).
“Once all the PAPs receive payment for land and property they will be issued with notices to vacate and enable the contractor, China WU YI to take possession of the road corridor and continue with the project implementation,” said Eng. Cherono during a press briefing at Kapseret on Wednesday.
He said as soon as KeNHA receives the funds from Treasury, it will be handed over to the National Lands Commission, (NLC) who are charged with the responsibility of paying the beneficiaries so that the Sh9 billion flagship project progresses smoothly.
Eng. Cherono conceded that compensation was one of the major factors that has delayed progress of the project.
“Disputes over compensation of the remaining families have undermined the speedy progress of the construction work,” said Cherono, but hastened to add that issues of land succession, incomplete land documents and families disputes over land had slowed down NLC from releasing compensation to some of the PAPs.
He however assured that a team from the provincial administration was working closely with the affected families and NLC to resolve the pending issues to facilitate the implementation of the project.
Eng. Cherono however expressed concern that the upcoming rains coupled with slow compensations will impede prompt completion of the project that is aimed at decongesting Eldoret town as well as expanding development outside the precincts of Eldoret town.
The multi- billion project jointly funded by the African Development Bank and the Kenya Government is projected to be completed by August, 2020.
The 32 kilometer bypass begins at Cheplaskei trading centre along the Eldoret-Nakuru highway and traverses through Kapseret and ends at Leseru on the Eldoret – Webuye/Eldoret – Kitale junction.
The coordinator said the project was progressing smoothly and was optimistic that once the underlying factors were resolved they will beat the August dateline.
A spot-check by KNA indicated the contractor was continuing with work on sites he had already been handed over in contrast to recent reports by a section of the Press claiming the project would stall because of compensation.
At Leseru Lorry Park, and major bridges at Railway crossing, Sosiani River, Lemook swamp, Kapseret and Leseru Interchanges were going on normally.