August 10, 2012
More than 200 major buildings in Eldoret town, including six banks, might be demolished to pave the way for the construction of a Sh7.5 billion highway. Engineers surveying the construction of the Eldoret-Malaba Highway have alerted the Eldoret Municipal Council that the buildings are located on the road reserve and will interfere with their work.
Mayor William Rono admitted yesterday that the buildings are located on the road reserve “but it will not be possible to pull them down to create space for the road”. “We have gone through our records and discovered that the owners of the buildings were issued with official documents and there will be legal hurdles if we resolve to demolish the buildings,” said Rono. “The documents were irregularly issued during the Kanu regime.”
He said the only alternative is to relocate the highway or demolish the buildings and compensate the owners. “At the moment, we are trying to find out if it will be viable to use the space available although that means the section of the highway in town will be very narrow like the road we have now and this will also mean we will not deal with the problem of traffic congestion we have been experiencing,” said Rono.
The construction of the highway has started at Timboroa and will run through Burnt Forest, Eldoret town,Turbo, Webuye and Bungoma to Malaba. At Annex, just before Eldoret, the government will create a diversion for the Edoret by-pass, which will be funded by the African Development Bank at Sh2.8 billion. It will pass near the Eldoret International Airport to rejoin the highway at Maili Saba. Roads minister Frankline Bett said the government will carry out a fresh survey of areas reserved for roads in urban centres to stop grabbing of road reserves.
Rono said the council will use more than Sh6 billion for the implementation of a new urban master-plan for the town. “The master-plan, which was finalised last year, is expected to re-organise the town, whose population has increased over the years,” he said. “The plan will help the council to deal with challenges such as congestion, poor infrastructure and general urban planning.”
Source: All Africa