Kenya signs bill for modernization and construction of roads

Over the last ten years, the government has spent 1 trillion Kenya shillings for  thr modernization and construction of its road networks. This has increased the country’s road network to more than 160 thousand kilometers from less than 60 thousand kilometers ten years ago. In the past decade, Kenya has rolled out major investment projects which have seen several bypasses and major roads being built. These projects include the modernization of Thika superhighway, and construction of various bypasses in Nairobi, Mombasa, Eldoret and Kisumu cities among others. Unfortunately, nearly 40 percent of these roads are in substandard condition according to the Kenya roads authority.

Use of the money:

Paul Maringa, the Infrastructure Principal Secretary says Kenya should spend an estimated 1 trillion shillings over the next five years if it is to clear the amassed backlog of required new roads and maintenance, according to a state agency. Executive Director of the Kenya Roads Board, Jacob Ruwa says the authority prepared a schedule of projects to present to potential investors in infrastructure bonds that are likely to be issued in the first quarter.

Also read: Kenyan capital receives US $4.2m to rehabilitate roads.

Action taken:

As a result, the President, Uhuru Kenyatta signed into law the Kenya Roads Board (Amendment) Bill, 2019 that paves way for the government to seek an Sh800 billion infrastructure bond in four years. The law will now give the Kenya Roads Board powers to seek the required funds to allow the government to deliver on its pledge of constructing 10,000km of roads by 2022. More importantly, the bill will also allow the board to put funds aside for the repayment of loans and other facilities taken for road maintenance, development and rehabilitation. The new law will restructure the directive and operations of the board and other agencies in the sector including Kenya Highways Authority (KeNHA), Kenya Rural Roads Authority (Kerra) and Kenya Urban Roads Authority (Kura). The law has also stated the percentages that the board will share funds across the different levels right from the constituency roads to the national highways.

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