Uhuru opens Sh8bn Taveta road to ease border traffic

Transport CS James Macharia. FILE PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NMG
Transport CS James Macharia. FILE PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NMG 

President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday opened the Mwatate-Taveta road and commissioned the construction of a six-lane highway between Mombasa and Mariakani as part of efforts to decongest cross-border transport corridors.

The Mwatate-Taveta road, built at a cost of Sh8.4 billion, is part of a transnational highway which runs from Kenya through Tanzania to Burundi.

It was the Kenyan side that remained untarmacked until the African Development Bank agreed to jointly fund the project with the government.

“All this investment in infrastructure we are making here and across the country, is meant to stimulate economic growth that will create the much-needed jobs for our young people,” said the President.

The dualling of the Mombasa-Mariakani road will start with the construction of the 11.3 km from the Coastal city to Kwa Jomvu at a cost of Sh6.1 billion.

The second section of the dualling of the highway from Kwa Jomvu to Mariakani would also be done concurrently at a cost of Sh6 billion.

President Kenyatta, who was accompanied by Deputy President William Ruto, directed Transport Cabinet secretary James Macharia (above) and the Chinese contractor to ensure the project employs local youth.

Other projects in Mombasa include the Sh2.7 billion Port Reitz-Moi International Airport access road, a crucial link that will provide the necessary connection to the newly constructed second container terminal.

The construction of the Mombasa Southern Bypass (Dongo Kundu–Mwache road) at a cost of Sh12.5 billion is also ongoing, President Kenyatta said with the DP adding that the contractor would be on site from next month.

Apart from decongesting Mombasa, the President said, the road projects would facilitate the growth of tourism.

“When the number of visitors to this city grows, more job opportunities will be created and the youth will benefit,” said President Kenyatta.