Road stalls on Sh900m pending bill
The troubled 84km Kenol-Marua dual carriage-way has come to a halt due to a shortage of funds in what is a significant setback for infrastructure development.
According to the contractor responsible for the project, Jiangxi Transportation Engineering, an outstanding sum of Sh900 million that has not been dispatched is the main cause of the impasse.
This pause has raised concerns among stakeholders, local communities, and commuters who were anticipating the benefits of the upgraded roadway.
“The decision to suspend the work is regrettable but stems from the failure of the employer to fulfill its contractual obligation,” said the Chinese contractor in a letter dated November 17,2023.
The Kenol-Marua dual carriage way is a critical transportation link, connecting key regions and facilitating smoother movement of goods and people.
“The dire situation has regrettably let to our inability to meet our payroll obligations affecting the livelihood of our employees,” the company lamented.
The initial enthusiasm surrounding the project has now given way to frustration and uncertainty.
Jiangxi Transportation Engineering, the Chinese firm spearheading the construction, has been vocal about the financial challenges impeding progress.
The company cites an outstanding payment of Sh900 million from the African Development Bank (AfDB) as the primary reason for the current standstill. Without these crucial funds, the contractor claims it is unable to meet various project expenses, including labor costs, raw materials, and equipment maintenance.
The African Development Bank, a key player in funding infrastructure projects across the continent, now faces mounting pressure to expedite the release of the funds.
The delay not only jeopardizes the timely completion of the Kenol-Marua dual carriage way but also raises questions about the bank’s commitment to supporting vital infrastructure initiatives in the region.
In response to the situation, Jiangxi Transportation Engineering has made it clear that it will not resume work until the AfDB fulfills its financial obligations.