Kenya: Bomet Residents Angered by Poorly Built Bridges
The county government is taking advantage of the people’s need for bridges in Bomet due to frequent floods to embezzle county funds.
Kenyans were on Tuesday, 11, 2023 shocked after it emerged a contractor had built barriers instead of constructing a bridge in Bomet County.
The residents of Chepalungu, Bomet decried poor infrastructure that was meant to help them. They affirmed that they had requested the government to build a bridge that would make movement easy but the contractor has erected an impassable structure.
Affirming their lament, one resident noted that the structure made the road dangerous as it almost caused some of his handymen to be carried away by flash floods. They now want the contractor prosecuted.
[Structure meant to be a bridge constructed at Chepalungu, Bomet. Photo/Courtesy]
However, this is not the first time the county is in the spotlight for mismanaging funds allocated for infrastructure and doing shoddy work on the structures put up.
In 2020, the county’s Department of Roads was in the limelight for constructing a pedestrian bridge with bricks despite the cost being at Ksh2.4 million.
The bridge, constructed at Chemagel ward caused an uproar among the residents who questioned the safety and cost of the project.
The then Roads CEC Eng Phillip Sawek defended the government noting, “Bricks can be used in constructing embankments, and in this case, it was only for the ramp. An additional gabion will be constructed on either side of the bridge.”
[Roads CEC Eng Philip Sawek at the site of the Sh2.4m bridge in Sotik. Photo/Courtesy]
The bridge was 18 meters long and 1.5 meters wide with a wall for embankment, which included bricks only used for backfill.
The officer further claimed: “The footbridge is a steel footbridge on the reinforced concrete abutment. The Roads Department assures the public that the bridge is structurally sound for pedestrians.”
In 2019, the county government of Bomet was also accused of building a sub-standard bridge that was to cost Ksh8 million.
Annoyed by the work, residents of Chepkositonik in Bomet East chased away workers from the site noting that the structure will not “eat up” all the monies allocated towards its construction.
“We requested the county government to build us a bridge but what we got is a culvert. This is a mockery to residents of this area,” one of the residents told the media at the time.
[Ksh8.4 million culvert constructed by Bomet County government at Chepkositonik in Bomet east. Photo/Courtesy]
Despite the shoddy job done on that bridge, Mr. Sawek noted that he was “satisfied with the progress.”
The county government of Bomet seems to be taking advantage of the people’s need for bridges due to frequent floods to embezzle county funds.
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