(eTN) – Politicians were blamed squarely for the aborted meeting of stakeholders to discuss resettlement and compensation issues for the planned bypass, which is aimed to link the main highway from Nairobi to the coast and the Moi International Airport in Mombasa to the south coast, avoiding the problem-riddled Likoni ferry crossing and the traffic-jammed drive through Mombasa city.
However, a former member of parliament tried to hijack the meeting, ostensibly to remind his former constituents that he was still around and had something to say too, prompting administration officials to then rather postpone the important meeting than risk turning it into a political platform.
The private sector, most notably the tourism representatives, were understandably hugely upset over the delay and told administration officials to keep politicians out of future meetings, as it was primarily them who over the past 20 years squabbled over the project and got it nowhere to the detriment of the entire coast’s economy and the benefit of commuters, travellers and trade.
The Likoni ferry crossing is notorious for breakdowns of the ferries and subsequent long delays for commuters, and has often caused departing tourists to miss their flights, while those arriving after a long flight from overseas had to endure hours upon hours of delays before reaching their beach resorts.
It was only last year that the principal decisions were taken to proceed with the highway construction and financing offers are on the table but subject to first resolving resettlements of affected individuals and their compensation. Watch this space for further updates as and when available over how this very important new road to some of Kenya’s most stunning beaches progresses.