You’re to blame for killing the dream of reviving Bomet airstrip – CAS accuses Bomet governor

Friday, August 20th, 2021 23:06 | By
The Bomet airstrip land which has been abandoned for more than 30 years. PHOTO/FELIX YEGON

The Bomet county is to blame for the failure to have the dormant Itembe airstrip revived, Petroleum and Mining Chief Administrative Secretary John Mosonik has disclosed.

Mosonik said both the previous and current administrations failed to offer necessary support in ensuring the airstrip which has been lying idle for more than 30 years is upgraded and expanded to its standards.

He said despite the willingness by the national government to upgrade it by setting aside ksh100 million for the purpose, the county leadership ignored it.

“We were keen on reviving this facility because of its economic value but it is quite unfortunate that the county never saw its importance that is why there is nothing that has happened to date,” Mosonik said.

Speaking during a function at Kembu in Bomet East, the CAS said while the role of the county was only to provide land towards its expansion with the national government providing funds, the leaders gave a deaf ear over it hence the funds allocated to it being returned.

He argued, “We only requested the county to help us relocate some families living next to the airstrip so that we can have a three-kilometre runway but they are yet to do that.”

Promising to ensure the project is revived if elected and the dream realized, Mosonik noted that the county stands to benefit a lot from it adding apart from job opportunities it also helps in fetching revenue to the county.

An ease of movement of goods and boost on tourism in the region would
have also been achieved considering Bomet is on the transit route to various destinations which include the Maasai mara.

After assuming office in 2017, late governor Joyce Laboso showed her
readiness towards having the project started where she even hosted officials from the Kenya airports authority (KAA) in the county as part of the engagement.

Last year, the officials returned to the county where they also toured the site alongside Governor Hillary Barchok and urged the county to expedite the process of allocating the land to facilitate the start of the works but such has yet to happen.

At the moment the airstrip land is 13 acres with a one kilometer runway which has been turned into a runway.

Bomet governor Hillary Barchok could not be reached for a comment over it.

At the once a useful airstrip, are two unoccupied houses and latrines with its fence having been destroyed.

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