The Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) has signed a deal, with China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), for the construction of Lamu–Ijara–Garissa road project and the associated spur roads.
Through their social media platforms, KeNHA informed the public that Lamu–Ijara-Garissa road project –which is set for completion in 2023, would be implemented at a total cost of 17.9 billion shillings.
The 453-Kilometre road project comprises of three road sections; the 257 Kilometres Lamu–Ijara–Garissa road section, the 113 Kilometres Hindi–Bodhei–Basuba–Kiunga road section and the Ijara–Sangailu–Hulugho road section that measures 83 Kilometres.
The project is part of Lamu Port -South Sudan – Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor program – which is a mega infrastructure project that will link Kenya to Ethiopia, and South Sudan once complete.
LAPSSET program consists of several subsidiary projects including; the construction of Lamu Port at the Manda Bay; the construction of a standard gauge railway line and a highway from Lamu–Isiolo–South Sudan–Ethiopia; and the construction of airports at Isiolo, Lamu and Turkana.
Other mini projects in LAPSSET corridor program are: the construction of resort cities at Lamu, Isiolo and Lake Turkana; the construction of an oil refinery at Lamu; and the construction of a product oil pipeline from Isiolo–Moyale–Ethiopia.
LAPSSET corridor program – which is valued at Ksh.2.5 trillion, was initially conceived in 1975, but never took off due to various reasons. The project was later revived and included in Kenya Vision 2030.
In 2010, the Ministry of Transport published a formal letter in the Daily Nation inviting international companies to bid on the initial phase of construction of the mega project; that involved the construction of three berths(of the planned 32 berths) at Manda Bay, Lamu
In 2012, the government undertook ground breaking for LAPSSET Corridor Program at Lamu Port site, after which it commenced the construction of various infrastructural facilities and services aimed at progressing the implementation of the Project.
In 2013, tenders for the construction of the first three berths at Lamu port was advertised, and a consortium of companies led by China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) won the bid. In the same year, the government also established LAPSSET Corridor Development Authority (LCDA) – headed by Mr. Silvester Kasuku, to manage the program.