The government is working towards improving the road network in the country, in efforts to connect with the neighbouring countries and improve trade in the region.
Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) Director General Eng. Kung’u Ndung’u said that, better connectivity within the country would ensure that goods and services can move efficiently from where they are produced to where there is demand.
Speaking on Monday, during the SemaNaSpox zoom discussion, Kung’u said that in Mombasa, KeNHA has completely transformed the port by undertaking significant developments in and around the port area to make it more efficient.
“We have construction works for the road connecting Mombasa to Tanzania and dualing the Mombasa-Kilifi road is commencing very soon. We are also doing the road that runs all the way from Mombasa to Mariakani with the first part being complete and we are in the process of commencing the second part,” he explained.
Kung’u said that they were also connecting the Lamu, port which is part of the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor project, by constructing new roads in the region.
“Lamu had no tarmac roads and now it is accessible via a tarmac road from Garsen, for people travelling either from Malindi or from the other direction in Garissa,” said Kung’u.
In the Nairobi area, Kung’u said that they have developed the Eastern bypass, which is part of the ring roads around the city that brings in efficiency on how one could move around.
“If you go towards the Northern part of the country, we are dualing the road between Kenol going all the way to Marua and this is part of the network that goes all the way to Cairo in Egypt from South Africa,” he explained.
In other parts of the county, Kung’u said that they have been constructing interchanges that bring about efficiency in terms of movement citing the Kericho and Ahero interchanges as examples. He explained that they have been able to construct a road that connects Kenya to Tanzania at the Silale border and in Kisumu they have the Mambole dual carriage way.
“When you go towards our border with South Sudan, we have rehabilitated the roads which were in a bad condition,” said Kung’u.
“In North Eastern we are connecting a 740 kilometer road corridor which we call the Horn of Africa development road which connects us all the way to Mandera on tarmac and in this way all of Kenya will be connected to each other,” he said.
Government Spokesperson Col. (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna said that roads improve the profile of a country as far as investments are concerned with the World Bank saying that one percent of infrastructure development contributes to two percent economic growth.
“As a country, we have been able to invest heavily on roads and there is no one county that has been left out and even counties which has no tarmac roads before now have been covered with the likes of Isiolo, Moyale, Lamu which had not tarmac roads since independence,” said Oguna.
“The Jubilee government has been in power for nine years and when it took over we had about 14, 000 kilometers of road network and today we have almost doubled that and you can imagine where we could be as a country if what has been done in the last nine years could have started when we got independence,” noted Oguna.
He said that Kenya is looking to be a mid-level economy and “therefore we need to do a little more work to achieve the Vision 2030”.
By Joseph Ng’ang’a