The government through Kenya Roads Boards, KRB is looking for researchers, contractors and suppliers to help it lower budgetary costs by at least 25% to enable it achieve various development projects.
Addressing an international conference on transport, roads and research in Mombasa,Ms Rita Kavashe, chairperson of the Kenya Roads Board said the key areas they are considering are transport and housing infrastructure and research.
Roads contribute the most to the country’s Gross Domestic Product,GDP with a modal share of more than 60%.However, its contribution is declining as the contribution of other sectors, particularly ICT increases.
The government implements projects based on demand, but high costs complicate matters a, hence the need to be reduced to an affordable level. Ms Rita added that cutting costs will enable the government to carry out projects without digging deep into its coffers.
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Demand for transport
Ms Kavashe also noted that demand for transport is growing faster than the supply of infrastructure, adding that about 200,000 new vehicles are registered annually.
“This represents 8% growth while the construction of new roads while the rehabilitation of existing ones is around 1,300 kilometres annually, representing 1% of the existing road network, which currently stands at 161,000 kilometres,” Ms Rita Kavashe said.
“Whereas the government would like to engage suppliers and contractors in projects, it is extremely important to look at both sides of the divide. It is basically demand and supply, with the government having great demand for projects on behalf of its citizens,” she added.
KRB, in collaboration with cement manufacturers and promoters of proprietary products, will be researching on ways of providing quality, low-cost hydraulic road binders (HRBs) to build low-volume roads.
“If this succeeds, it will support our strategies for providing cost effective and low volume road infrastructure. In addition, the ministry will from time to time review manuals and standards to incorporate emerging technological trends,” she said.