Improvement of road network in the coastal region is touted as the largest developmental projects by the Jubilee administration and will go a long way in enhancing the livelihoods of residents.
The multi- billion road infrastructure projects are spread across three Counties of Kilifi, Kwale and Tana River Counties with more than 607 kilometres set to be covered in the next three years.
While on a tour of the projects over the weekend in Kilifi County, Transport and Infrastructure Principal Secretary (PS), John Mosonik said he was impressed with the work done so far.
The projects include the tarmacking of 132 kilometre Garsen-Witu-Lamu road that covers Tana River and Lamu counties and which is the largest costing taxpayers a whopping s0.8 billion.
Other projects include the 110 kilometer Malindi-Kakoneni-Salagate road that will cost sh.4.1 billion, the 42.7 kilometre Sabaki-Marikebuni/Majengo-Marikebuni-Marafa road that will cost s.5 billion and the Mariakani-Bamba road all in Kilifi County.
He added that the rehabilitation and surface dressing of the 327 kilometre Garsen-Hola- Bura- Madogo Garissa highway, that had been neglected for a long time will cost s.8 billion.
These major road projects are geared towards easing transportation and provision of goods and services along this region with an aim of spurring economic activities, he added.
The PS however, said the Garsen- Witu- Mokowe highway may not be completed on time due to the security threats posed by Al-shabaab militants in parts of Lamu County.
We have set up two teams to work on the Garsen- Lamu road and one will start from Witu to Garsen while the other will take the Mokowe-Witu section to speed up the construction, he added.
Mosonik however, argued that the government had reduced the cost of construction for a kilometre of road from sh.200 million to sh.36 million.
The Garsen- Mokowe road is a high density road whose construction will be the highest and will cost sh.80 million per kilometre, he added.
Musonik assured the residents the projects will be completed and allayed fears the works may stall due to for political reasons.
The government has also beefed up security along the Garsen-Lamu corridor to enable the contractor to speed up works, he added.
Musonik urged the contractors to give jobs to area youths as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility programme to alleviate poverty.
Upon completion the Garsen- Mokowe road will increase traffic and the government is looking for funds to expand and upgrade the Garsen-Mombasa road to cope with the envisaged increased traffic, he said.
At the national level the PS said the government had constructed more than 2,600 kilometres of tarmac in the last four years.
Source: Kenya News Agency