Tarmacking of the main road linking Kenya with Ethiopia is expected to be completed by end of next year, Marsabit governor Ukur Yattani has said. Mr Yattani said the 505km Isiolo-Marsabit-Moyale road was 60 per cent complete and that work was progressing well.
“Construction is ongoing. By the end of next year, we will have connected Addis Ababa to Nairobi on tarmac road, which will change the economy of this place,” Mr Yattani, whose county occupies 15 per cent of Kenya’s land mass, said.
The road is expected to cost Sh46 billion and is funded by the African Development Bank, the European Union and the national government. The governor said the road would ease travel to Nairobi, which used to take four days but has since been reduced to one day.
“Petrol stations will come up. We also have lodges, cottages, banks and other institutions. The road will be a game changer,” Mr Yattani told journalists at his office.
The project was initiated by former President Mwai Kibaki in 2007.
“We will open ourselves to competition. We encourage it. People should come and create jobs to our people,” Mr Yattani said.
Separately, Laisamis MP Joseph Lekuton said he was happy with the work done on the road.
Already, the Isiolo-Merille road, which is part of the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) corridor is complete.
A spot check by the Business Daily indicated that construction of the remaining phases between Merille River bridge and Marsabit town, and between Marsabit and Moyale town, which is estimated to cost Sh10 billion, was going on.
The road will link Mombasa to the proposed second port in Lamu then to Ethiopia. It aims at reducing transport and shipping costs between Kenya and Ethiopia, reducing transit time for imports and exports and increasing the volume of Ethiopian goods transiting through Mombasa port.
The project will also promote trade and regional integration, increase intra-regional trade between Ethiopia and Kenya as well as with the eastern and Horn of Africa regions.
In terms of trade and regional integration, the project area extends beyond Kenya and Ethiopia to include Uganda, Tanzania, Eritrea, and Djibouti.
Source: Business Daily
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