Editorials

Build bridges before tragedy

kitui

The wreckage of the bus that plunged into River Enziu in Mwingi, Kitui County in a picture taken on December 5, 2021. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT | NMG

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Summary

  • From road overpasses to river bridges, it seems the Infrastructure ministry only prioritises projects after tragedies.

It is quite telling that the government is now rushing to build a bridge on the Enziu River in Kitui after the horrific accident that killed 32 people.

The ill-fated bus was taking a church choir and other guests to a wedding in Kitui on Saturday when fast-flowing waters swept it as the driver tried to navigate a submerged bridge.

From road overpasses to river bridges, it seems the Infrastructure ministry only prioritises projects after tragedies.

Public Works PS Paul Maringa, appearing before MPs on Tuesday, said the ministry knew that the Enziu bridge "has been having a problem". He claimed that budgeting had been an issue but, in the same breath, said a building contract would be signed in three weeks.

He told the MPs they had secured Sh500 million for the construction, whose work starts in January. We wonder where the cash to fund the bridge has suddenly been mobilised from.

To avoid the recurrence of such incidents, the PS told the MPs to set aside a budget for the building of bridges. He revealed that there is no allocation for that purpose, which is quite regrettable. We hope the lawmakers obey the call to avert disasters.