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Roads agencies finally get maintenance cash

 potholes
Workers repair potholes in Nyeri town on March 4, 2020. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NMG 

Roads agencies and county governments have received the first half of funds meant for maintenance this financial year.

Disbursing Sh28.7 billion just three months before the end of the fiscal year signals continued delays in payment to contractors at a time increased rainfall is expected to cause more damage.

The Kenya Roads Board released the funds to the three road agencies and the Kenya Wildlife Services which maintains park roads and the county governments.

The funds are collected from motorists through the Sh18 per-litre road maintenance levy and transit tolls.

Last year, the board collected Sh69 billion, but it said the funds were way below the budget needed to keep the roads in good shape. The regulator estimates the country requires about Sh150 billion yearly to execute the assignment.

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“It is also estimated that the road sector requires Sh1.2 trillion in the next five years to bring the entire road network to a maintainable condition. Thereafter, a sum of Sh150 billion annually would be adequate for maintenance,” KRB wrote in its 2018- 2022 strategic plan.

In the latest allocations, the Kenya National Highways Authority will get Sh10.7 billion while the Kenya Rural Roads Authority will be allocated Sh6.5 billion.

The urban roads agency will get Sh3 billion.

The agencies are allocated the funds based on the length of roads under their watch after Kenya reclassified its network into national trunk and county roads in 2016 with an expected 240,000 kilometres by 2022.

Counties will receive Sh4.49 billion.

The roads board previously relied on the Commission on Revenue Allocation formula that used population, land area and poverty parameters to determine the allocations.

The county formula also considers climatic condition and population.

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