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Economy

Sh8.7 billion for damaged roads shaved from budget

 James Macharia
Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

MPs have removed Sh8.7 billion from the kitty on road repairs occasioned by floods after establishing that there was no clear road map on implementation of the project.

The government had allocated Sh18.7 billion for road repairs following heavy rains between April and July which destroyed infrastructure and displaced families in Tana River, Garissa, Kilifi, Kisumu, Mandera, Isiolo, Turkana, Marsabit, Makueni, and Kitui.

Parliament on Wednesday approved the cuts on the infrastructure rehabilitation budget on projected revenue shortfalls for the year ending June 2019.

“Sh8.7 billion allocated for infrastructure rehabilitation following the damage caused by floods has been deducted and there is no clear road map on how the damaged roads will be handled,” said Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichungwa in the report tabled in Parliament by the Budget and Appropriations Committee on the Supplementary Estimates for 2018/2019 financial year.

Mr Ichungwa, who chairs the committee, told the House the committee approved the budget cuts following metrological reports that the country would experience normal short rains.

“Given reports that the October to December short rains could be above normal, roads already damaged by floods may have an even worse outcome,” he said.

The weatherman projects above average rainfall in most parts of the country during the October-December short rains.

The Transport ministry had allocated Sh13.3 billion (of the Sh18.7 billion) to Kenya Rural Roads Authority (Kerra), Sh3.4 billion to Kenya Urban Roads Authority (Kura), and Sh2 billion to the Kenya National Highway Authority (KenHa).

In May, Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said the ministry had deployed engineers to assess all roads and draw a road map on how they will be rehabilitated.

He said repair works will kick off in areas where rain has subsided.

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