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KeNHA Signs Kes 17.9 Billion LAPSSET Deal with Chinese Firm

The Kenya National Highway Authority (KeNHA) and China Communications Construction Company Monday signed a Kes 17.9 billion  (about 166 million U.S. dollars) deal to construct a 453-km road that is part of the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) corridor project.

In a statement, Peter Mundinia, the director-general of KeNHA, said the tender award agreement is for stage construction of the LAPSSET development project and spur roads in the country’s southeast region.

The road construction comprises the 257-km Lamu-Ijara-Garissa section, which is part of the LAPSSET project Hindi-Bodhei-Basuba-Kiunga section, which spans 113 km and the Ijara-Sangailu-Hulugho section, which extends 83 km.

The LAPSSET has seven components that include construction of the Lamu Port at the Manda Bay; construction of railway line from Lamu to Isiolo (northern Kenya), Isiolo to South Sudan, and Isiolo to Ethiopia; construction of airports at Isiolo, Lamu and Lake Turkana and construction of the highway from Lamu to Isiolo, Isiolo to South Sudan, and Isiolo to Ethiopia.

Other components include construction of resort cities at Lamu, Isiolo and Lake Turkana; construction of an oil refinery at Lamu; and constructing an oil pipeline from Lamu to Isiolo, Isiolo to South Sudan Isiolo to Ethiopia.

The Kes 2.5 trillion projects are expected to promote regional socio-economic development along the transport corridor, especially in the Northern, Eastern, North-Eastern and Coastal parts of Kenya.

KeNHA Chairman Wangai Ndirangu, a week ago, revealed that the project’s had already been budgeted for in the current financial year.

“The two security roads will have a two-pronged effect in improving security within the Lamu-Boni area, as well as opening up the area for future investors once the Lamu Port operationalisation takes off later this year,” stated Wangai Ndirangu.

Once complete, the highway will form a permanent route for ferrying goods along the Northern Corridor all the way up to Southern Ethiopia.

This comes a day after Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia issued an ultimatum to engineers from China Wu Yi firm over the delays in the Kes16 billion Waiyaki way expansion project. The project involves expanding the 25km James Gichuru-Rironi Road stretch along Waiyaki Way into a superhighway. The project, which began in 2017, had been slated to be completed in December 2020.

The CS James Macharia said the delays were becoming more frequent and gave an ultimatum for the road to be completed by the end of July 2021.

Read also; Kenya Business Activity Slows Sharply in March.