The ongoing construction of the US $182m Kibwezi-Mutomo-Kitui road in Kenya is now 53% complete despite land acquisition challenges.
Speaking during the County Development Implementation and Coordination Committee (CDICC) meeting hosted by the County of Kitui in their Commissioner’s Boardroom on Wednesday, Eng. Michael Kinyua Muchemi from APEC Consortium said that up to date over 100 kilometers of the entire highway have been fully attended to despite hiccups of court cases and resistance of land acquisition from the project affected people.
He also encouraged the National Land Commission (NLC) to fasten the reconstitution and appointment of new commissioners at the institution so as to avoid early entry delays of the project between Mutomo and Kitui due to the commissions in ability to acquire land along this particular area.
The 192 kilometer road project under Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) begins at the junction with A8 (Nairobi – Mombasa road) near Kibwezi town and runs in a northward direction via Ikutha, Mutomo, Kitui, Kabati and ends at Migwani.
It is 85% and 15% funded by the China Exim Bank and the government of Kenya respectively. The construction works was projected to take 42 months since the project commenced in 2016 to end in February 2021.
Upon completion, the Kibwezi – Kitui – Kabati – Migwani road will encourage development of critical infrastructure facilities such as power, water, telecommunications and social infrastructure in the regions traversed as well as support the long term development and viability of the Mombasa – Isiolo – Moyale corridor, and Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia- Transport (LAPSSET) while linking three more regional transport corridors which are the Northern Corridor (A8), the Kenya – Ethiopia Corridor (A2) and the Thika – Garissa – Liboi (A3).
It will also boost trade between Mount Kenya Region, Lower Eastern and Coastal Regions plus improve tourism activities in the Eastern region through provision of reliable road links to Mwingi National Reserve, Meru National Park, Kora Game Reserve as well as Tsavo East National Park. Nevertheless, it shall give a boost to Mineral exploration of coal at Mui basin, limestone mining at Mutomo and iron ore mining at Ikutha.