A road linking the Nyando sugar belt, and also connects Kisumu city with its only company in Top 100 SMEs is in a deplorable state.
Mamboleo Block D road which links Kibos, the defunct Miwani, Chemelil and Muhoroni sugar companies and which falls under Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) was last serviced more than 10 years ago.
The road, users say, is only temporarily repaired in time for the annual agricultural show at the ASK Kisumu showground and then neglected. This repair, they add, only targets the section from its junction with Kisumu-Kakamega highway to where ASK road branches off.
Skylark Group which has been listed in the Top 100 SMEs since 2009 has its factory along the highway. The company says the road which connects Kisumu with Nairobi via the four sugar companies, Koru and Londiani would make business less costly.
Skylark founder, Vinod Patel said they suffer up to Sh40, 000 in losses monthly due to the poor state of the road which is lined with potholes.
He said the road was shoddily repaired 10 years ago and has since been in a sorry state. Their appeals to KeNHA, he further stated, were met with promises of imminent commencement of work but nothing has been done.
“All towns grow with businesses; if we want to see Kisumu develop into a business hub, then works on the road should kick off immediately,” he said.
Ndugu Transporters Limited, which has been filling the numerous pot holes with murram soil in a bid to keep it usable say it has taken a toll on the economy of the area which boasts of increased industries and real estate investment. The company transports sugarcane to the factories. It also supplies construction materials that are made at the area.
According the company’s transport manager, Mr Albert Atieno, the murram fillings have not been very effective, especially when it rains. He said they suffer losses in fuel costs and vehicle maintenance.
KENHA regional manager, Michael Ngala admitted to the poor state of the road but said it had been earmarked for reconstruction in a programme christened Annuity Financing Framework.
“We are away of the bad state of the road but it is one of the beneficiaries of an ongoing construction programme and will soon be reached,” he said.
Under this programme, 2,000 kilometres of small roads will be complete within the 2014/2015 financial year. It is flagship project initiated by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Ngala dismissed claims that the reconstruction of the road had stopped at Koru, as claimed by a section of investors.