That Kitui South residents are celebrating their first inch of tarmac since Independence, as reported on Monday, says volumes about underdevelopment and neglect of some regions in the past 50 years.
It also points to how far Kenya has yet to go in terms of infrastructure development and equitable growth.
It is a shame, really, that there are vast places in Kenya that stayed this long without any permanent roads. It is saddening that even with the onset of devolution and rapid road-building projects in recent times, there are still areas that have not benefitted at all.
Indeed, much of the northern region, some coastal and Rift Valley counties and pockets of other regions across the country have almost no proper infrastructure, thanks to years of neglect. Wajir and Lamu counties, for instance, only recently got their first tarmac road.
These places are often totally inaccessible in adverse weather, which is an injustice to the residents who continue to suffer marginalisation through no fault of their own.
Besides, without the basic roads, it is unlikely that these areas would benefit from other infrastructural development, including electricity, water or mobile and internet connectivity.
Not unsurprisingly, a number of the marginalised counties are some of the most insecure. By opening up these regions to the world, the more secure and productive they become, eventually building up the economy.