Inter-county roads should be a priority


Road construction in Othaya, Nyeri County. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI

Road infrastructure development is a key recipe for economic growth.

Well-developed road network connects manufacturers, producers and suppliers to consumers, aiding the exchange of goods and services, as well as providing accessibility to a wide variety of commercial and social activities.

The World Bank says roads are the arteries through which the economy pulses.

The expansion of road network in Nairobi and across the country including the Sh72 billion Nairobi Expressway has attracted critics and supporters in equal measure.

Between 2013-2017, the Jubilee Administration spent more than Sh614 billion on roads alone, stretching the network 5,800km to 13,485km.

According to the Ministry of Transport, more than 9,000km of roads have been constructed since 2013, pushing it to 11,000km by August this year.

These strides notwithstanding, a large part of the country still remains inaccessible due to the dilapidated state of roads or no roads at all.

For devolution to work effectively, the State must improve the supply chain activities within the marginalised counties and the interconnectivity between them.

Despite the huge potential in terms of fruit and livestock production, the marginalised counties of Baringo, West Pokot and Elgeyo Marakwet, for instance, lag due to insecurity and poor road infrastructure.

The recent flagging of construction of a road connecting these counties is expected to unlock economic fortunes and spur growth and development of these regions.

To meet the target of economic growth and promises peddled by the leading political formations, the State must improve inter-county connectivity through more roads.

Good road network, reliable water and sanitation, electricity attract investors even within the remotest parts. This delivers equal growth.