Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has completed the construction of 1.2 kilometer six-lane concrete Kipevu road to facilitate easy movement of cargo.
The construction of the highway replacing the old four-lane road was co-financed by KPA and Trademark East Africa (TMEA) to the tune of Sh2 billion.
The road, which is part of the improvement and expansion programme at the port of Mombasa, is located near Chaani and extends from Changamwe roundabout to KPA Gate 18 with an additional 200m inside the port area.
According to KPA General Manager Infrastructure Development Vincent Sidai, the road will boost port capacity by improving in and out flow of traffic with other economic benefits including improved service delivery, reduced congestion at the Port through faster truck turnaround and reduced delays with faster Gate clearance.
“The road will also accommodate a 40 metres railway bridge with two cells for vehicles and a gate canopy for custom and security purposes,” said Eng. Sidai on Wednesday.
He further said the road is predicted to improve productivity and ultimately reduce cost of doing business hence affordable consumer goods.
Eng. Sidai added that the construction of the new road was necessitated after it was noted that the ground had continued becoming unstable and could not withstand the increased frequency of heavy commercial trucks plying the route due to the increased capacity at the Port.
“Initially, the existing four lane dual carriageway also suffered with increased traffic leading to bottling at the Changamwe roundabout thus effectively disrupting fluidity of cargo movement,” added KPA official.
Completion of the Kipevu road and Sh500 million modern tug jetty adds to other multi-billion infrastructural projects aimed at increasing efficiency through the Mombasa Port Development Programme (MPDP) initiative.
The ongoing expansion programme includes the construction of Sh32 billion phase two of the second container terminal to transform the port into a logistics hub in the region.
Phase one of the second container terminal built at a cost of Sh26 billion which involved reclaiming of a sea area of about 50 acres creating 550,000 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit (TEUs) capacity was commissioned in 2016.
The National Development Implementation Technical Committee (NDITC) recently visited the port and expressed satisfaction on the positive developments and measures to make the facility more efficient and competitive.
Dr Karanja Kibicho who led team members of the committee called on all the stakeholders to strive to improve efficiency and reduce cost of doing business to make the port one of the best globally.
“The overall objective is to make the port of Mombasa a classic facility, achieve high productivity and guarantee efficient cargo freight services to importers and exporters,” said Dr Kibicho.
He attributed the good performance to proper coordination among state agencies and other maritime stakeholders.
The Port has also witnessed steady growth in import volumes for both general and containerized cargo following the cessation of the Covid-19 restrictions and lockdowns from the major import countries.
According to the Kenya Port Authority (KPA) Acting Managing Director Eng. Rashid Salim, the Port’s performance in February 2021 surpassed that of similar period in 2020 and 2019.
Eng. Salim said the port handled over 115,000 TEUs against 108,000 TEUs handled in 2020 while for non-containerized cargo it handled 1 million tons against 800,000 tons recorded in 2020 which represented an increase of 20 percent.
By Mohamed Hassan