The construction of sh25 billion second phase of the Dongo Kundu bypass is at 35 percent complete, experts have said.
County Development Implementation Coordinating Committee led by Kwale county commissioner Joseph Kanyiri said despite the many challenges the engineers are still on track to deliver the project.
The committee said the work done already is of the desired standards and construction speed was on course.
“The engineers have so accomplished an exemplary job in the duration that they have been here,” said Kanyiri.
Previously, the project was slowed down by vandalism and theft of installed equipment by unknown locals amounting to losses worth millions.
The negative impact of Covid-19 also interfered with the project’s progress.
The pandemic locked out some experts scheduled to do the project due to stringent coronavirus containment measures in foreign countries.
Protests, court summons and frequent compensation disputes between the government and the affected locals had also snailed the project.
It was reported that residents used to attack and block the contractors from working on the site interfering with the planned time.
The Second Phase of Dongo Kundu construction commenced in March 2020.
But it was awarded to the contractor Fujita Corporation on February 20, 2019.
It is a 9Km long road and will have the longest bridges connecting Kwale from Mwache to Mwangala Mombasa county.
The road is a dual carriageway each being 7m wide with 2m shoulders.
Once completed the project is expected to open the special economic zone (SEZ) for massive investment and development.
Both Kwale and Mombasa counties youth are set to benefit from the project.
Also Read: Tufe, a fallacy of cowards
Kanyiri said already some youth have transformed their lives through skill transfer and employment opportunities.
The compensated victims have switched from dilapidated Makuti thatched houses to stone homes.
“Many young people have secured jobs from this project and improved their standards of living,” said Kanyiri.
Others have bought motorbikes from their hard sweat salaries through the project.
The county commissioner said instead of youth vandalising property and opposing the project they should embrace it because more benefits are yet to come.
Kanyiri said young people should take advantage of the construction work, acquire various skills and documents for the long-awaited SEZ job opportunities.
The administrator said the government will pay every affected person to the last coin.
He said by stealing property will create further losses, delay the completion of the project and compensation.
At least, 13 families have not been compensated but Kanyiri said the government is yet to pay them.
Kanyiri also raised concern that some people were rushing to illegally acquire lands in the area claiming to be squatters waiting to be compensated.
He said some have already snatched pieces of land in the special economic zone in Mombasa whose land belong to the Kenya Ports Authority.
He warned against the vice saying the government won’t tolerate such behaviour and stern action shall be taken on the culprits.
The second phase of the Dongo Kundu bypass is scheduled to be complete by 2024.
Mombasa Port Area Road Development Resident Engineer Moses Mukiira said currently the instalment of beams, earthworks and culvert construction for Mwache, Tsunza and Mteza bridges is ongoing.
The bridges will be approximately three kilometres.
The earthworks are at 48.2 percent complete and are conducted in sections along the road.
Mukiira urged the government to effect the compensation for the remaining affected persons for smooth operations.
He said with enough cooperation and current project speed they will beat the deadline.