NAIROBI – President Uhuru Kenyatta has defended his administration for spending big on infrastructure. He said infrastructure is an important determinant of economic growth, job creation and poverty reduction.
The head of state was speaking during the commissioning of Sh70 billion Nairobi Expressway on Sunday.
“Efficient transport systems spread economic opportunities widely, thus making economic growth more inclusive,” Uhuru said.
He said during the nine years of the Jubilee administration, his government has built more than 11,500km of new tarmac roads, increasing Kenya’s paved roads network by more than 85 per cent.
“As a result of accelerated road development and maintenance, more than 70 per cent of Kenyans can now access an all-weather road network within a radius of 2km of their homes,” the head of state said.
“These have improved access to schools, hospitals and trading centres and facilitated intra and inter-county movements. My government has also upgraded 408km access roads and related infrastructure in densely populated areas of Nairobi.”
To reduce congestion in the Mombasa Metropolitan area, Uhuru said his government is expanding the Mombasa-Kwa Jomvu-Mariakani and Magongo roads into dual carriageway.
A new 8-lane Makupa Bridge to replace the 93-year-old Makupa Causeway is also being built.
Uhuru said they are also building Dongo Kundu Bypass, which will connect Mombasa Mainland North and Mombasa Mainland South.
He said the projects complement the completed Miritini-Mwache-Kipevu Link road and Moi International Airport Access road, which have improved access to Mombasa port.
“We are also expanding the Mtwapa-Kwa Kadzengo-Kilifi road into a 4-lane dual carriageway, as part of a larger project to expand the Lunga Lunga-Mombasa-Malindi road. To ease congestion at the Likoni Ferry, we constructed a floating footbridge across Kilindini Channel, which is used by more than 220,000 pedestrians daily,” he said.
Uhuru said the Jubilee administration has implemented numerous road projects to boost inter-county connectivity. They include the Kibwezi–Mutomo-Kitui-Migwani road, and the Voi–Mwatate– Taveta road. We have also built the Lamu–Ijara-Garissa and Garsen–Witu-Lamu roads to link the new Lamu port to the Kenyan hinterland.
The government has also built several roads to enhance security and connectivity in Northeastern.
They include Garissa–Nuno–Modogashe road, Turbi–Moyale road, Isiolo–Moyale road, Elwak–Rhamu–Mandera road and the Naibor-Kisima-Maralal road.
In Nyanza and Western regions, he said the government has improved the Kisumu–Kakamega–Webuye-Kitale road, the Busia–Malaba road, and the Kitale-Endebess-Suam road.
“My government is also executing the Kenol–Sagana–Marua highway expansion project to improve access to Northern and Eastern Kenya, and the 650km Mau Mau road that will open up several rural areas,” he said.