Economy

Uhuru’s legacy infrastructure projects get Sh10 billion top-up

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President Uhuru Kenyatta during the official launch of the Lamu Port on May 20, 2021. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NMG

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Summary

  • The National Treasury has increased the allocation for ongoing road construction in the country as President Uhuru Kenyatta races against time to seal his legacy.
  • Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani said Sh94.7 billion will go towards the ongoing roads and bridge construction in the year starting July, an 11 percent increase.

The National Treasury has increased the allocation for ongoing road construction in the country as President Uhuru Kenyatta races against time to seal his legacy on infrastructure developments.

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani said Sh94.7 billion will go towards the ongoing roads and bridge construction in the year starting July, an 11 percent increase from Sh84.7 billion in the current financial year.

The Sh10 billion increase comes at a time the State has been investing heavily in road construction, a move that has opened up the country for trade and investment.

Some of the roads under construction include the Sh50 billion first double-decker road linking Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to the Nairobi-Nakuru highway.

The road is expected to reduce the traffic gridlocks along Mombasa Road.


special features

The bus rapid transit (BRT) system is one of the special features of the planned highway, which will involve the construction of a dedicated lane for large-capacity buses to ease congestion.

The other road currently under construction is the 85.5-kilometre Kenol-Sagana-Marua road.

It is being upgraded into a dual carriageway, further easing traffic congestion on a section of the Northern Corridor that caters for the agriculture-rich central Kenya.

Upgrading the section will mean that the road between Nairobi and Marua in Nyeri will be one way, easing the cost of transporting goods and reducing road accidents which mainly arise from traffic moving in opposite directions.

The other road expected for construction is the Sh160 billion toll highway from Nairobi to Mau Summit.

The 233-kilometre contract that was awarded to a French consortium made up of Vinci Highways SAS, Meridian Infrastructure Africa Fund, and Vinci Concessions SAS last year will see the road expanded into a four-lane dual carriageway through a Public-Private Partnership model.

The state has been opting for Public-Private Partnerships in financing infrastructure projects in the country as a part of a wider plan not to burden the public with heavy loans that sometimes come with higher repayment terms.