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  • Writer's pictureInfrastructure Exchange

Road construction continues after allegations of worker maltreatment

Construction of the $180m Isebania-Ahero road, which links Kenya and Tanzania has resumed. This after a Chinese firm suspended work citing maltreatment and unnecessary levies from Kisii County officials, according to news reports.

The reports were confirmed by Kisii County Secretary Patrick Lumumba who further said that that the suspension was halted following a meeting in which local authorities and officials of Third Engineering Bureau of China City Construction Company had reached an agreement.

According to Mr Gakuo, representing the Kenya National Highways Authority: “We agreed to harmoniously work together and ensure that the tarmacking of the road is completed within two months. The contractor also agreed to employ more locals on site.”

Worker’s protest

Third Engineering Bureau of China City Construction company’s workers alleged they were subject to continued harassment from the county enforcement officers, citing as examples the arrest of ten workers plus injuries to seven casual labourers.

The Isebania–Kisii–Ahero Road is a part of the the A1 road in Kenya, connecting the towns of Isebania, Migori, Kisii and Ahero and covers a total distance of 178 kms (111 mi). The project covers 172kms of the 178km road.

In March 2016, the African Development Bank approved a $228 million loan to the Kenyan government for the rehabilitation of the road. The Government of Kenya and EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund are also contributors to the project.

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