The Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) is expending Sh.28 billion on road construction and upgrade in the coastal counties of Mombasa, Lamu and Tana River.
The KeNHA Coast Regional Director, Eng. Jared Makori said among the roads under construction are Lamu-Garsen, Mombasa Southern By-pass, Magongo in Mombasa and Lamu Port access roads.
Makori noted that expansion of road network in Mombasa and other coastal counties would greatly boost business and other economic activities in the region and the whole country in general.
The KeNHA official said this when he presented a report on the status of road projects in the area during the Regional Development Implementation Committee Meeting at Uhuru na Kazi Building Chaired by the Coast Regional Commissioner (RC), John Elung’ata on Friday.
‘The ongoing construction and upgrade of infrastructure projects worth billions of shillings in Mombasa and other coast counties is aimed at facilitating transportation of goods and passengers and boost the economy of the region,” said Makori.
Elung’ata said the government is investing hugely on construction of the new roads and upgrading of the existing ones to improve road connectivity as well as improve socio-economic activities in the coastal region.
”Massive investment by the national government on the improvement of urban road network in the region would significantly boost investment and the tourism sector in the area,” said the RC.
He added that the construction and expansion of Magongo- Miritini, Airport and Port Reitz roads which have been expanded into dual carriageways at a cost of Sh.23 billion is expected to ease traffic from and to Moi International Airport and also improve movement of cargo from the port.
The Dongo-Kundu Bypass which connect Mombasa to the South Coast and funded through a loan of Sh.25 billion from the Japan International Agency (JICA) is another mega project implemented by the government in Coast region.
The improvement of road network is expected to have positive economic impact of the tourist resort city that has for long been grappling with dilapidated road networks, poor drainage system and lack of proper solid waste management system.
Tourist stakeholders and transporters interviewed by KNA commended the government for the expansion and improvement of the road network saying this was a boon for the town that will improve economic fortunes of the area.
They are of the opinion that the availability of the good road network and the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) line will make the county an ideal place for investment and tourism.
”Construction and upgrading of roads will go a long way in the achievement of Big Four Agenda and also greatly boost business and other economic activities in the whole of East Africa region,” said Mostafa Mohamed, an investor in transport and logistics.
Mohamed also said the road improvement and expansion will drastically reduce traffic jams that has become common in the area.
By Mohamed Hassan