It has taken unacceptably long to install footbridges on the busy Thika Road, and news of further delays only means that pedestrians will continue chancing their lives every time they cross the highway.
The Kenya National Highways Authority has for the umpteenth time moved the completion date of the project to next month. This is from the initial August 2017 date.
That’s two years – about the same period it took to complete the 42km highway- to install four simple metallic footbridges. The agency’s defence is that Kenya lacks the capacity to weld the metal structures and so the contractor has to do the job in China.
It appears the theatre of absurdity has being quietly at play for years at the taxpayers’ expense. It may well have been true that our local firms don’t have the welding capacity, but it’s unacceptable that the work has to be outsourced instead of shipping in the equipment to do the job.
If that was not possible for whatever reason, wouldn’t it have been better to alter the project specifications to use materials that are locally available.
We have after all been building durable footbridges long before the arrival of the heavy metallic structures favoured by the Chinese contractors. We can only hope that no lives will be lost before the footbridges are finally installed.