Work on the Southern Bypass Continues Despite Court Battles
The Southern Bypass has intersected with Ngong road at Lenana. A fly-over has been designed to ensure smooth traffic flow and accessibility from either roads.
The dual-carriage Southern bypass is a KSh 17.1 billion highway that has seen a 5 km section of the highway stopped by the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) tribunal due to the fact that it encroaches on wildlife territory. The section under much contention is from the Ole Sereni Hotel to the Carnivore hotel. Latest report confirm that the National Environmental Tribunal (NET) ordered the Roads ministry to legally de-gazette part of the park if it wants to continue.
The appellants appeal is insincere, mischievous and influenced by ill motive. It is complete misadventure and misrepresentation of facts and it is in the interest of the public that the appeal fails. NEMA ought not to have licensed construction of the whole by-pass if it deemed it likely to affect the park and the biodiversity there irreparably. National Environmental Tribunal (The Star)
The bypass cuts Ngong Road a few meters from Lenana High School. This junction will be facilitated by a fly-over with exit and entrances to ensure smooth transition from either direction. Currently, the support columns have been raised with the retaining walls in place. The contractor is working on the approaching lanes. Ngong Road will cut below while the bypass will fly-over.
The Northern and Southern bypass since commissioning have been caught up in legal battles which have in one way or the other directly impacted the project. e.g. The Northern Bypass versus Runda estate residents over road reserve despite the highway being complete and operational. Such confrontations are an indicator that the land is still a critical issue to development. The state has long been blamed with resettlement of affected persons every time a highway is about to be constructed. In the case of the Southern bypass, environmentalists and interested parties have cited that the highway and construction work will have a negative impact on the animal park.
More clear demarcations should be put in place to encourage investors who are not ready to loose their property and time in endless legal battles over land. Despite the simmering tensions between the state and environmentalists, the contractor is working on the remaining section of the highway which will open up Kikuyu areas and offer a path for motorists who wouldn't want to enter the city.
The National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) is the state agency mandated to protect the environment while the project lies with the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA).