Construction of a road linking Central and Rift Valley regions is slated to commence in January, 2020.
The Roads and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary (CS), James Macharia has said President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to launch construction of the road commonly known as Mau Mau early next year.
The 540-kilometre road, which will cost Sh.30 billion will connect Nyeri, Murang’a, Kiambu, Nyandarua and Nakuru counties.
The road will run along the periphery and across Aberdare forests shortening the route from central part of Kenya and Rift Valley.
Macharia was speaking when he led officials from his ministry and those from Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) to inspect the proposed road on Friday, noted that the Mau Mau road will have other connecting roads from parts of the involved counties making 540 total kilometres to be tarmacked.
He said the road will be divided in four parts and be awarded to different contractors to ensure the construction takes two and half years.
The CS observed that the contractors to be awarded the works are of World class standards to ensure the road is of high standard.
“The government is committed to do the road as a way to honour Mau Mau war veterans and also to spur economic growth of the counties served by the road,” said Macharia at Ichichi area of Kangema Sub County.
The CS further said the road will also connect the northern corridor which covers Nairobi, Thika, and Nyeri up to Isiolo.
“Northern Corridor which will be a dual carriage goes up to Isiolo where will connect LAPPSET corridor which runs up to Ethiopia from Lamu,” he noted.
Dualing of Kenol – Sagana- Marua road is also expected to be launched in early next year by the President.
The interconnection of the roads is expected to spearhead economic growth in parts of Central region and northern part of Kenya.
“Northern corridor will be connected to Mau Mau road from two areas, one is from Thika which will ensure people from Garissa and heading to Nakuru and other parts of Rift Valley will have a short route through Aberdare forests. Other area to connect the road is from Nyeri side,” Machaira further explained.
The CS called upon locals to support the project as it will open up rich agricultural areas, which border Aberdare forests, saying farm produce will be easily delivered to markets once the tarmacking of the road is completed.
“This project funded with a lot of money will also provide employment to our young people and we appeal for locals to come out and support the project,” he added.
Meanwhile, the CS warned lazy contractors who have failed to complete given works on the agreed time.
The ministry, he said so far has blacklisted 15 contractors stressing that those blacklisted will never be given any work by the government.
“We are cataloguing all contractors and we will continue blacklisting those who have let us down. Some contractors after getting down payment of 10 percent disappear from the ground,” stated Macharia.
He added that they are monitoring contractors doing roads in all the 47 counties and blacklist those who have failed to complete given works.
“Road projects are financed by Kenyans and the citizens need to enjoy fruits of their taxes so we will not tolerate lazy contractors anymore,” remarked Macharia.
By Bernard Munyao