Works on Nairobi roads that were damaged by recent flash floods have begun in earnest following the award of Sh4.1 billion worth of contracts to three Chinese firms.
Transport and Infrastructure secretary James Macharia said the government had struck a deal with Sinohydro Limited, China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) and China Wu Yi, setting the stage for the repair works to begin.
“We have entered into an agreement with the three Chinese firms to repair any roads damaged by the ongoing rains since January,” said Mr Macharia, adding that the three were picked because of their huge financial muscle that allows them to work and get paid upon completion of the works.
“The goal is to complete the work in the next six months,” he said.
The list of roads earmarked for rehabilitation within Nairobi’s CBD includes Kaunda Street, Muindi Mbingu Street and Ronald Ngala Street. Standard Street, Kirinyaga Road, Harry Thuku Road and Banda Street and Moktar Daddah Street are also in the list.
The contractors are also expected to extend their works outside the CBD to outlying areas such as Huruma Road in Kamukunji, Hamza Road in Makadara, Ngumba Estate roads in Kasarani and Embakasi North Constituency’s Utwala Road.
“We have asked the contractor to prioritise River Road, Tom Mboya, Latema Street, and Kirinyaga Road for initial repair then move to others on need basis,” Mr Macharia said.
The three Chinese firms are among the latest in a chain of Asian companies undertaking multi-billion shilling infrastructure projects in Kenya.
CRBC is the company that is building the standard gauge railway line that has already connected the port city of Mombasa with the capital Nairobi.
Sinohydro Corporation Limited, a Chinese state-owned hydropower and construction firm, in January won yet another multi-billion shilling contract to build the Ruaka to Ruiru by-pass.
China Wu Yi is, on the other hand, the company that built Nairobi’s Thika Superhighway and the University of Nairobi’s tower.
China’s biggest freight wagon manufacturer, CRRC Qiqihar, holds yet another multi-million shilling contract to service locomotives and wagons while another Chinese firm — China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) — is the operator of the new rail for five years.