Construction of road linking Kenya, South Sudan to start in 2016, says official

Kenya: The construction of the 601-kilometre road linking the country’s north-west town of Lesseru to Nakodok/Nadapal border with South Sudan will begin in 2016, according to a top official.

Transport Principal Secretary John Mosonik told Journalists in Nairobi this follows the successful negotiation of a World Bank credit facility.

“The World Bank has agreed to provide $500 million (Sh47billion) out of the $956 million required for the exercise,” he said. The PS said the assistance is the largest single credit from the World Bank to Kenya so far, and the bank’s approval for the project is expected in June.

He noted that apart from facilitating connectivity between Kenya and South Sudan, the project will enhance cross-border trade and reduce transportation costs. “It will also aid transportation of emergency relief supplies and humanitarian efforts in northern Kenya,” he said.

Road construction is expected to be implemented over a period of six years, with five years allocated for road upgrading and one year for the development of physical infrastructure. “The reconstruction of this link is part of the larger objective of the two neighbouring countries to transform the entire Eldoret-Juba road section into a development corridor,” Eng Mosonik said. The road will be a vital road link serving northern Kenya through Lokichar, Lodwar, Kakuma to Lokichoggio. Musonik said the Government will contribute $70 million towards the road project.

“This will help integrate local communities along the transport corridor into the modern economy through the provision of basic services such water and electricity,” he said.

The Government, he added, is also negotiating with the German Development Bank, European Investment Bank and the African Development Bank for the funding of the remaining portion of the road. The project will also involve the laying of a 600-km fibre-optic cable.

new policy

Meanwhile, the Government will soon adopt a comprehensive policy to promote use of nanotechnology in diverse fields like medicine, agriculture, manufacturing and environment.

A draft nanotechnology policy will guide exploitation of this emerging technology that heralds immense economic, social and health benefits. “Nanotechnology as a science promises more for less. The competitive edge for Kenya as a developing nation lies in robust investments in this technology,” National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation Chairman Njeri Wamae said in Nairobi. —Xinhua