The Kenya Urban Roads Authority (Kura) says it is on course to complete upgrading of 408.4km of roads in Nairobi’s informal settlements by December 2022.
About 95.3km of roads have been completed in only three months between June and August, according to a report by Kura dated August 31, 2021.
This brings the total completed upgrade to 152.7km from the 57.4km already been done by June.
The two-year project, being rolled out in more than 12 informal settlements in Nairobi, involves re-carpeting and upgrading the roads to cabro and asphalt (bitumen) standards.
This is in addition to the installation of additional road furniture including walkways and cycle lanes where adequate space is available.
Kura chief corporate communications officer John Cheboi said the Sh5.4 billion project was launched in November last year but proper work began January this year.
He said the project is on course to be completed as had been planned with other roads also at an advanced stage of completion.
“We experienced a lot of challenges at the beginning of the project but we are now past that stage as everything is moving fast. The kilometres we have done in 10 months is like from Nairobi to Nakuru which is 157 kilometres,” said Mr Cheboi.
According to the report, Kura has already paid Sh3 billion advance payment for the project that is set to cost Sh5.4 billion when complete.
According to the overall plan, a total of 70 kilometres will be upgraded in Mukuru slums, Githurai 57.48km, Roysambu 50.76km, another 42km in Mwiki, 41km in Kangemi and 40km in Dandora, Utawala, Mihang’o, and Ruai.
Dagoretti will take up 30km, Kawangware 22.6km, Kibera 22.8km, Mathare 18.2km and Korogocho 13.6km.
Mr Cheboi said the project is designed to improve regional traffic capacity through the upgrade of out-of-class roads.
This will see main roads constructed to a 6m width minimum on a treated original ground with a 30cm subgrade layer and 15cm cement stabilised base where applicable.
He explained that on completion, the project will be a game-changer in the slums that have suffered from poor road networks making accessibility of critical services and other essentials a challenge as it will open up the slums connecting them with other parts of Nairobi.
The lack of accessibility in the areas has presented difficulties during emergency and disaster responses including fire outbreaks, among others.
Areas like Kibra, Mathare and Mukuru kwa Njenga slums have already been marked as Special Planning Areas by the Nairobi Metropolitan Services.
One of the many objectives of the declaration was to develop ways that would promote the safety and health of the residents.
This is in addition to improvement of water and sanitation, roads and drainage, and electrification, with some of the projects already ongoing in the areas.