- Written by Peninah Njakwe
The World Bank has approved a Sh25 billion interest free loan to be used on upgrading roads in major urban cities in the country while the government will provide an additional Sh9.5 billion.
The funds under the National Urban Transport Improvement Project (Nutrip) will expand the capacity of Uhuru Highway, which bisects Nairobi’s central business district and initiate rapid bus transit and commuter rail systems.
“By helping to ease traffic congestion and develop a modern commuter system, this project will enable Nairobi to remain a great city to live in and do bussiness”, said the World Bank country director,Zutt Johannes in a statement.
Kenya had been tasked by the global lender to develop new mass-rapid transport systems to reduce traffic congestion in the major towns so as to boost the country’s regional competitiveness. The government will establish a national Metropolitan
Transport Authority to coordinate and regulate public transport. The authority will also recommend policies on pricing and investments, financing equipment and related traffic management systems.
The project components include expansion and upgrading of the highway, service and access roads from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport through Nairobi Rironi on the Northern transport corridor. Others are; construction of by-passes in Kisumu, western Kenya and Meru in the East.
The project will also see to the financing of,building and operation of new rapid bus and rail transport systems to increase the volume and speed of passenger and freight services around the urban areas.
The project will be implemented by agencies working for the ministry of roads and Transport.