Construction of over 6,000 kilometers of new roads in the coming three years is expected as the government embarked Ed KS on an ambitious plan to firmly improve the country’s road networks.
The new roads will include highways connecting Kenya to the region as well as local roads offering improved access across the country.
The government will increasingly tap into public-private partnerships as well as continued investments of its own funds to fund infrastructure projects as in indicated in the draft Budget Policy Statement (BPS).
Being charged with the development of roads, railways, and other infrastructure, Treasury has proposed an allocation of Sh200 billion to the State Department of Infrastructure in the 2021-22 financial year.
Major roads that are earmarked for construction this year include part of the Isiolo-Mandera Road, which is part of the World Bank-funded Horn of Africa Gateway Development Project.Under the South Sudan Eastern Africa Regional Trade and Transport Development Facilitation Project, the government also plans to construct 128km of roads. In the course of the 2021-22 financial year, the government also expects to complete the 649km Mau Mau Road and the 84km Kenol-Sagana-Marua Road.
“The government has put in place deliberate efforts to scale up a robust network of high-quality roads, railways, sea, and airports to enable Kenyans to enjoy the benefits of expanded infrastructure assets, interconnectivity, and competitiveness, leading to improvement and better ranking in the ease of doing business in the country,” said Treasury in the draft BPS published yesterday.
“In order to ensure every Kenyan enjoys the benefits of an expanded road network, the government has been scaling up the construction of modern highways, urban and rural roads in every part of the country.”
In the development, Sh5 billion will be spent in rehabilitating damaged access roads and footbridges in all major towns. This will be under the Economic Stimulus Programme.
At a cost of Sh60 billion, the Ministry of Transport has recently selected China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) to construct the Nairobi Expressway.
Vinci Highways SAS, Meridian Infrastructure Africa Fund, and Vinci Concessions SAS will, on the other hand, construct the Nairobi-Mau Summit Road for Sh168 billion.
Treasury noted that the two roads “will have a significant positive impact on the economy by decongesting Nairobi’s gateways and opening up the economies of and increasing connectivity in Western, Rift Valley and Central Kenya respectively.
Other infrastructure projects that are earmarked for completion in the 2021/22 financial year include the refurbishing of the Naivasha-Kisumu meter gauge railway.
This will add to the Nairobi-Nanyuki railway, which was recently rehabilitated. Rehabilitating the railway to Kisumu will give cargo owners who prefer moving goods on rail connectivity with the Standard Gauge Railway, which currently terminates at Mai Mahiu.