The Redesigning and expansion of Sobea –Kibunja deadly stretch along Nakuru-Eldoret Highway that has claimed dozens of lives for decades, will remain the former State Department of Infrastructure Principal Secretary Eng. John Mosonik’s indelible legacy for Kenyans.
Following the rampant fatal accidents, Eng. Mosonik packed an Emergency Contract aimed to enhance the road safety along that section of the road that he announced in December 2017 when he visited the spot in a company of National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) and Kenya National Highways Authority ( KeNHA) senior officials.
In his statement, the former PS said, the redesigning would include: Construction of a Dual carriageway at the 10km climbing lane section including 300mm by 300mm kerbstone, and flexible plastic post traffic delineator, Construction of minimum three (3) No. Emergency Runaway Truck Rump, Construction of Lorry Brakes temperature Checking Point and holding yard, Widening of Nyanja/Kamala bridge capacity to dual carriageway, Construction of Standard Speed Humps and Rumble Strips, Road Marking with yellow/white paints and reflective cut-eyes, Erection of Road Signs including both informatory and warning signs and this is exactly what has happened along the road.
Salgaa was known for dark patches of spilled oil, broken glasses, and pieces of rubber and mangled remains of motor vehicle parts litter the road section – a grim reminder that it bears a bitter past for many families, but is now a source hope for safety to the travelers.
To some, its restructure was a pipe dream but Eng. John Mosonik ensured the 22-kilometre black spot got emergency funding for dualling and expansion from Sobea to Kibunja.
“Construction of a dual carriageway and expansion of the 22-kilometre stretch between Sobea and Kibunja, will soon commence with an aim to curtail the alarming number of accidents along the dangerous spot” he said during his past visit
To surprise of anguished residents the PS’s words became a reality soon after the meeting and it is now complete and awaiting commissioning.
The Locals who have been asking the government for a long to come up with a lasting solution to curb deaths are now joyful to see completion of the dual carriageway construction and creation of more space to accommodate trucks, Lorries, uses and small motor vehicles.
“Such enormous projects only happen under the leadership of focused, smart and experienced leaders. As we find reprieve, we want to thank Eng. John Mosonik who came here and announced the start of the project. With this kind of road, we are sure that accident cases will be the story of the past” Jane Mutai, a resident of Salgaa said
Though Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika and Governor Lee Kinyanjui are apparently fighting to take credit for the completion; locals thank Eng. Mosonik for appropriate sharing of road networks to end accidents on perilous spots and to ease transport of farm produce to market places in rural areas.
Mukinyai resident Mr. John Momanyi said “Mr. Mosonik is a gentle leader who lobbied and ensured that this road is maintained to save more lives. We appreciate him and pray to God to keep blessing him” said
The intricacy facing senior government officials, is corruption, how and where to direct the limited resources but to the former PS’s wealth of experience of real challenges at the rural, Administration, Management and Governance skills beefed up with engineering expertise, saw the road prioritized.
Erection of the dual carriageway at the climbing lane, separation of traffic, installation of Jersey barrier, as well as installation of warning and informative road signs along the road will salvage lives of travelers bound to Kericho, Eldoret, Bomet, Baringo and the whole of Nyanza and Western Kenya regions.
The main causes of the mishaps have been over speeding, reckless overtaking, excessive drinking drivers, brake system failure among the heavy trailers along the narrow and busy road.
The sh. 500 million redesigning and maintenance contract was awarded to China Railway Number 10 Engineering Group.
According to NTSA latest survey as of May 9,2019, the number of road crash victims this year has slightly surpassed those who died in 2018 with a total of 1,192 reported to succumb to road carnage compared to 1,054 who died by the same date last year. Pedestrians are the most vulnerable with 453 having lost their lives.
Poor road conditions and drivers making bad decisions are among the causes of car accidents.
The 2018 Kenya Roads Board statistics shows that less than six per cent of Kenyan roads are tarmacked, with only 4,300 of the total 12,950km of paved roads in good condition.
At least 6,212km of tarmacked roads are classified as being in a fair condition, with 2,429km classified as poor. A total of 122km are currently under construction.