Major roads being built by the national government, including the crucial Voi-Taveta road that connects Kenya to Tanzania, are due for completion by mid-2017.
The Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) says the key road whose construction begun on May 17, 2014, is due for completion on May 16, 2017.
The 98.4km road is a major transit route linking the two countries and its completion signifies a major step in cross-border trade, says Infrastructure Principal Secretary John Mosonik.
It is expected to open up the Mt Kilimanjaro agriculturally rich zone and Taveta which is a major source of farm products such as bananas, vegetables and fruits that are sold at the Kongowea open air market in Mombasa with some of them finding their way to Nairobi.
The Arusha-Holili-Taveta-Voi corridor development project covers a distance of 90km from Voi to Taveta and a 12km bypass to Taveta Town, according to KeNHA.
It is one of the Jubilee administration’s flagship projects and will cost Sh8.4 billion, 91 per cent of the funding being a loan from the African Development Fund (ADF) and nine per cent being the government’s contribution.
Mr Mosonik says the road will facilitate trade between Kenya and Tanzania and therefore strengthen regional integration in the East African Community.
“The improved road network in Taita Taveta County will spur economic growth within the area as well as boost vast commercial activities involving traders crossing the border from neighbouring Tanzania through Taveta-Holili border,” he said.
By December 19, 2016 the authority says, 90.8 kilometres of the road was complete. KenHa says the marking of the road will be done in early January.
At the same time, the national government has undertaken infrastructure development in Taita Taveta County at a cost of Sh1 billion.
The projects include reconstruction of 25 km Voi-Mwatate road, construction of 2.5km access road to Taita Taveta University, repair and rehabilitation of the 18km Mwatate-Wundanyi road and 6.5km Voi loop road.
“The national government is committed to providing funds to build roads in Taveta to open up the countryside so as to attract more investors to the mineral-rich county,” PS Mosonik told the Nation.
Surface dressing of Mwatate-Wundanyi road is ongoing and upon completion the road which leads to the county headquarters in Wundanyi is expected to accelerate socioeconomic development of Wundanyi Town.
“The maintenance and rehabilitation of the road to the county headquarters in Wundanyi will enable area residents to move with ease to access public services as well as save on the time lost traveling on the previously dilapidated roads,” he added.
Other ongoing roads projects include the Mombasa-Mariakani expansion, Samburu-Kinango-Kwale road and the upgrading of Mombasa-Lunga Lunga road among others.
“The Department of Infrastructure through KeNHA has [provided] funds for the maintenance and rehabilitation works of the main Mombasa highway that traverses the county so as to hasten the movement of goods and services to better the economy” Mr Mosonik said.
Source: Daily Nation