Contractor given two months to complete Suneka airstrip

Wednesday August 21 2019

A charter plane takes off at an airstrip. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP


The contractor working on the Sh52 million Suneka airstrip in Kisii County risks losing the job if he does not complete the work in the next two months, the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) has warned.

Work on the airstrip by Vinbel International Company Limited stalled nearly four years ago.


There have been claims that the work stopped because of the terrain, which is not suitable for an airstrip.

Locals have taken advantage to graze their livestock on the site now covered with grass while boda boda operators use it as a parking lot.

On Wednesday, the County Development Implementation Coordination Committee (DICC), led by Kisii County Commissioner Godfrey Kigochi, expressed dismay at the poor condition of the site after touring it.


KAA Kisumu Branch Manager Selina Gor and area MP Oroo Oyioka were also present.

“We have been disappointed by the contractor. We invited him to tell us why there has been such a long delay in the construction but he refused to attend” Mr Kigochi said.

“We can’t continue working with such a person. If it means terminating his contract, we will propose that it be done,” he added.

Ms Gor said she would raise the matter with the head office, where action will be taken against the contractor.

“Believe me, action will be taken the contractor and if we terminate his contract, he will not be able qualify for any other job in the country. And he has less than two months to finalise the construction,” she said.

Mr Oyioka acknowledged that the issue of the terrain was, indeed a problem, and had been raised by the Ministry of Transport and KAA.

But he said the issue had been resolved, with the contractor having been told to fill the lower part of the facility for it to meet the required standards.

Earlier this year, the Parliamentary Committee on Transport, chaired by Mr David Pkosing, visited the site and proposed that work resume immediately.

“This is the only airstrip in Kisii and Nyamira counties, to the construction should resume. When it is completed, the economy in this region will improve,” said Mr Pkosing.

The construction was to be done in two phases, with the first involving the construction of the passenger’s bay, and the second the construction of the runway. The only the run way that had been put had worn out.

The Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Roads and infrastructure, Mr Chris Obure, has said that the matter will be looked into and addressed with urgency.

“We are going to push for more funding from the government to ensure this airstrip is completed within the shortest time possible,” he said in an earlier statement.