Sunday, January 22, 2012

Thika Road Mess. Blame GoK not the Chinese.

I just read this story in today's Sunday Nation which highlights the fact that there is serious negligence in the traffic management and safety aspects of the Thika Highway construction project. The piece seems to point the finger of blame solely at the construction companies involved in the road building. I have a slightly different take:

I think the responsibility for this lies firmly with the Government of Kenya via the various government organs that are involved in design and implementation of this project (Ministry of Public Works, Kenya Highways Agency, Kenya Police etc).

It is the government's role to protect the interests of its citizens. As such I believe that as part of the Project Implementation contract:

- There should have been a very specific Project Implementation Plan that included a traffic management aspect complete with work dates, schedule of work, diversions needed to complete work, signage guidelines (number needed per occurrence, size, distance etc), police requirement (where traffic control is needed) etc
- There should be regular oversight to ensure that the contractor is complying with the guidelines spelled out in the plan.

Watching the progress of this project, it is evident that there is either no plan or there is no oversight (to ensure that the plan is being followed).

The planning and the oversight are both GoK responsibilities.