Funding for roads, electricity supply up in Kenya’s budget

NAIROBI: Kenya's infrastructure is among the biggest winners in the Budget Statement delivered by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich.

For the second year running, the Government scaled up allocations to the infrastructure docket, which includes roads, power generation and supply as well as rail and marine transport.

Treasury allocated the roads sector Sh132 billion, Sh58.5 billion of which will be used for on-going road construction, Sh26.7 billion for road maintenance, Sh42 billion for foreign financed roads and Sh5.0 billion for the road annuity programme.

"During the 2015-16 financial year, the roads department intends to construct 350kms of new roads through the normal development allocation and 3,000km under the annuity programme," stated Mr Rotich Thursday.

In the year 2013-14, a total of 262.8kms of new roads were constructed while a further 237.6 kilimometres were rehabilitated at a cost of sh93 billion.

In the same year, the sub-sector maintained 57,280kms of roads under the routine maintenance initiative, while a further 1,532Kms were also serviced through the periodic maintenance approach.

In addition to this, Sh1.3 billion has been allocated for the purchase of new ferries to ease movement of passengers and cargo across the Likoni Channel. The standard gauge railway also received a dedicated Sh143 billion vote, with the Government stating that the construction of the rail network is ahead of schedule.

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The Geothermal Development Corporation received Sh13.2 billion for further geothermal power exploration and development in the next financial year. The Government also gave additional funds to boost absorption levels of the anticipated extra electricity output by residential and commercial consumers.

"To sustain demand, we programme to connect at least one million Kenyans to the electricity grid in 2015 to boost other recent policy interventions including the reduction of connection charges from Sh35,000 to Sh15,000," said Rotich.

A total of of Sh14.9 billion has been allocated for rural electrification, Sh4.5 billion for street lighting and Sh1.5 billion for the Last Mile Connectivity project.

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