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Economy

Turkana leaders seek help to build new bridge

Travellers and motorists stranded at Kainuk Bridge, which collapsed a month ago. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Travellers and motorists stranded at Kainuk Bridge, which collapsed a month ago. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

MPs from Turkana County want President Uhuru Kenyatta to direct the military to put up a temporary bridge at Kainuk, which was washed away by heavy rains a month ago.

The MPs said the Kainuk Bridge was the lifeline of Turkana because it linked the rest of Kenya to the northern county, South Sudan, Ethiopia and Uganda.

The bridge is the main link between the agricultural town of  Kitale and arid Lodwar town. Prof Malaki Charles Ekai, the Turkana senator, said the bridge was an “artery of everything that goes on between the rest of the country and Turkana County.”

“Everything that people need to survive, including food, vegetables, petroleum products and drugs pass across the bridge that is now broken because it was washed down by the rain,” he said at a Press conference at Parliament buildings Monday evening.

Prof Ekai, who was accompanied by Turkana Central MP John Lodep,e asked the Chinese firm that has been awarded the tender for construction of the bridge at a cost of Sh1.4 billion ($14 million) to give it first priority.

“But before the contractor moves to site, I have heard something called a military bridge. If that is the solution, it should be put up to open the road for food and products destined for my county, the refugees we host South Sudan, Ethiopia and even Uganda,” Prof Ekai said.

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