AfDB’s €209.17 Kenyan highway project to be completed in December

AfDB’s Richard Malinga, Desk Manager, Kenol—Sagana—Marua Highway Project addressing newsmen in Kenya.
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By Lucy Ogalue

The African Development Bank (AfDB) says its 209.17 Euros Kenol—Sagana—Marua Highway Project in Kenya will be completed in December.

Mr Richard Malinga, AfDB’s Transport Engineer and Desk Manager of the project said this when he briefed newsmen in Nairobi on Sunday shortly after inspecting various projects.

“The work started in October 2020 and has advanced, so essentially, by the end of this year, it will be completed.

“The project will ensure regional connectivity, reduce travel time and create wealth for people around the region,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the inspection was one of the activities planned for the AfDB Annual Meetings 2024.

The Kenol – Sagana – Marua Highway Project involves the reconstruction of an 84km road linking Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi, with the commercial and agricultural towns of the Central and Upper Eastern regions.

The project aims to improve access to northern Kenya and connect neighbouring countries as part of the Great North Road/Trans African Highway.

The old road, a two-lane single-carriageway, posed a major challenge to traders and farmers through high vehicle operating costs and longer travel times.

Malinga said the road’s total length is about 9600km, with the section in Kenya, which runs between the Tanzanian and Ethiopian borders, being about 920km.

“This expansion project significantly complements the AfDB’s interventions along the corridor in Kenya, namely the construction of the Nairobi –Thika Highway and the Mombasa–Nairobi–Addis Ababa corridor development projects.

“The project corridor also connects, at Isiolo town, to one of the Horn of Africa corridors, Isiolo–Mandera, which connects Kenya to Somalia.

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“The Kenya-Sagana-Marua project is being done in two lots, a total of 84 km; the first section, lot 1, is approximately 48km, and the second one, lot 2, is 36 km,” he said.

According to Malinga, the road, which is being upgraded to a two-lane dual carriageway, has other extensive supporting facilities along its route.

“These include the construction and equipping of a trauma centre in Sagana and the construction of additional facilities at an Autism Centre in Karatina.

“It also includes the construction of bus parks, a modern market and sheds for commuter motorcycles, popularly known as ‘Boda Boda’.

“The project is working with the Kenya Forest Service and local community forestry groups to plant trees at nearby hills. The target is to plant 75,000 trees,” he said.

On impact, Malinga said the project would improve the quality of life of people around the region, increase rural productivity, and expand the markets.

He said it would foster a conducive and enabling business environment and attract foreign direct investments for the countries in the region, among others.

Mr Ephraim Macharia, the Vice-Chairman 2NK Sacco Transport and Board Member of the National Transport Safety Authority in Kenya commended the efforts of the AfDB in dualising the road.

He said that since the construction of the road, travel time for road users and fuel consumption while plying the road have been drastically reduced.

He said the construction had improved road safety and increased national income.

Meanwhile, some traders who trade along the route expressed mixed feelings even as they commended the bank.

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They said that in spite of the increased business and income the construction work brought to them, it also displaced some of them from their homes.

NAN reports that since the inauguration of the project, several indigent students were trained in building, electric welding fabrication, carpentry, while many others got jobs. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Ese E. Eniola Williams

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