By Ben Leshau
Narok town dwellers got a boost after President Uhuru Kenyatta directed that a portable metallic bridge installed by the Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) personnel shall remain in the town albeit temporarily till a permanent one is constructed.
The bridge, which connects Narok town and the stadium and also serves as an alternative footpath along the Narok-Bomet road within the town, was part of the projects initiated in the town as part of the recent Madaraka Day celebrations.
For those who may know Narok town, for many years residents had been depending on one exit through the Enkare-Narok bridge which often caused a traffic jam; locals are unable to cross to either side and the KDF bridge was a big relief to the locals.
President Kenyatta gave the directive on the bridge after area Governor Samuel Tunai pleaded with him to intervene and have the bridge remain permanently in the town since it was a property of the KDF.
“When we were with the National Celebration steering committee,the KDF told us that they will built the bridge and after the event they will fold it and take it away. Your Excellency (President) the fears of these people is that this bridge that they have tested will now be taken away,” said Governor Tunai.
“As the Commander In Chief we besiege you to issue orders that this key bridge remain here because if it will be removed, the people of this town will suffer a lot,” he said.
While responding to Governor’s plea after winding up his speech, President Kenyatta asked the KDF to built a permanent bridge for the Narok town residents before removing their portable one.
“Mr Governor, I have heard your prayer on the bridge and I have consulted with the Chief of Defense forces and he has told me that he still needs the bridge for his other activities, but I have instructed the KDF to build a permanent one before removing it,” said the President amid applause from locals.
The bridge which is about 15 metres long was built by the KDF a month before the June 1, 2019 Madaraka Day celebrations.
Some of the locals who spoke to County Review could not hide their happiness after the President’s announcement, saying the bridge was crucial in easing transport in the town.
“Narok people have been risking being knocked down at the old exit bridge since there is no footpath. The KDF bridge has come in handy and we can now walk to town comfortably without fearing being killed by speeding motorists,” said Justus Mululu, a resident.
Wilson Marima, a livestock keeper also said several livestock have been hit and killed by speeding trucks along the road, but the KDF bridge will now act as a diversion.
“As pastoralists we did not have anywhere to cross with our livestock when moving in search of pasture, but we can now cross safely,hanks to the KDF bridge,”he added.