Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development in conjunction with the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) has officially commissioned construction of Kibwezi- Kitui-Kabati- Migwani road into bitumen standard. This follows a successful financial agreement between the government and China Exim bank to provide the project with US$ 200 million to partly cover the construction in three phases.
The first phase covering 192km will commence at Kibwezi-Mutomo-Kitui-Kabati-Migwani section at a cost of KES18.4bn with government and China Exim Bank jointly financing. The second will be from Kitui to Kandwia through Mwingi and third phase will be from Kandwia to Usueni. The last two phases will cover 167km and 113km correspondingly as financing is yet to be deliberated upon. The total cost of the three phases is KES50bn.
Sinohydro Corporation Limited under the Engineering Procure Construct (EPC) has been contracted for the works and the programme works is expected to be finalized in the next 42 months.
The road works consists of upgrading the existing road to an international trunk road standard with 7.0m wide carriageway and 2.0m wide shoulders on both sides, rehabilitation of the existing 12 kilometers Kitui-Kabati road, construction of two interchanges at Kibwezi and Kitui.
The first phase is expected to encourage development of critical infrastructure facilities in the region, support long-term viability of LAPSSET development project and Mombasa-Isiolo-Moyale corridor, reduce travel time between Kibwezi and Migwani and strengthen the connection between the Northern corridor, Kenya-Ethiopia corridor and Thika-Garissa corridor.
This road launch forms part of the larger Mombasa-Addis Ababa transport corridor connecting the Mombasa-Nairobi highway at Kibwezi and the Nairobi-Addis Ababa highway at Isiolo. This will ease traffic congestion along Mombasa-Nairobi route once the entire stretch to Isiolo via Mwingo and Mikinduri to join Meru-Maua road at Muriri is upgraded to bitumen.
Other benefits to be accrued upon its completion is easy of access to Makueni and Kitui County, offer an alternative link to Moyale through Kitui, faster movement of goods and services and boost socio-economic status of Makueni and Kitui counties.