A team of Japanese experts is in the country to review the design of the planned Dongo Kundu by-pass in Mombasa, showing the country’s interest to fund it.
The by-pass is meant to improve cargo delivery and ease congestion at Mombasa port.
The Japan International Co-operation Agency (Jica) team is responding to a funds appeal by the Kenya National Highway Authority (KeNHA) made early this year.
The Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) will rely on the by-pass to improve cargo delivery to and out of the port. It will enable trucks to avoid the congested Changamwe circuit, said the KPA public relations manager Benard Osero.
The by-pass will also ease congestion at the Likoni ferry crossing. It will also connect Kenya to Tanzania via the Mombasa Lunga Lunga road.
Jica will release a report on the proposed by-pass in November.
If the project meets the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) guidelines, it will receive funding, Mr Denis Odeck, the KeNHA regional manager for Coast Province said. Mr Odeck said Japan had expressed interest to fund the project, including compensating those affected by the construction.
“They have proposed to push the by-pass further south to reduce the number of affected residents,” Mr Odeck said.
The by-pass that starts near Miritini, West of Moi International Airport, covers 17.5 kilometres. Starting from the central mainland, it connects the South mainland along Likoni-Diani road.
The firm of Mochel Consultants is working on the final design after the government approved preliminary plans last year.
Business in the South Coast has been severely disrupted by malfunctioning ferries.
Although two new boats were acquired last year, the infrastructure is yet to be upgraded and does not accommodate two ferries on either side.
The bypass is contained in a 2004 government masterplan aimed at opening up the South Coast and increasing tourists visiting the area through improving the road network.
Besides the bypass, Dongo Kundu will also host a free trade zone which is among major projects identified under the Vision 2030 blueprint.
When fully developed, Dongo Kundu FTZ is expected to have 6,200 sites and accommodate more than 10,000 business units and facilities for warehousing, light industry, and processing, according to the port master plan.