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Government finally releases Sh33 billion for roads maintenance

NEWS
By Allan Mungai | February 21st 2019

The Government has released Sh33.4 billion for maintenance of roads.

Kenya Roads Board (KRB) has given the bulk of the money, Sh12.8 billion, to Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) to rehabilitate trunk roads countrywide.

Up to Sh8 billion of the money from Road Maintenance Levy Fund (RMLF) has been given to Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA), while Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) has received Sh3.4 billion.

County governments have been allocated Sh4.1 billion and Sh228 million given to Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to maintain roads in national parks.

Another Sh4.8 billion was given to the Ministry of Transport for emergencies and maintenance of roads under Road Sector Investment Programme.

RMLF was established in 1993 to cater for maintenance of roads. The fund is raised from fuel levy on petroleum products and transit toll collections.

In a notice, KRB said the funds had been released to all compliant agencies to implement road works contained in the 2018/19 Annual Public Roads Programme.

KRB Deputy Public Relations Manager Rosemary Wangui said the funds were released to the road agencies and county governments conditionally according to the approved disbursement schedule.

“If an agency has not met conditions or has misappropriated funds or allocated it to purposes other than road maintenance, then the funds are withheld,” Wangui said.

Kiambu, Murang’a, Kirinyaga, Nyeri, Nyandarua, Laikipia, Meru, Isiolo, Tharaka Nithi and Embu, have collectively received Sh709 million through the counties’ kitty.

The money has been disbursed to county governments’ bank accounts.

The money is shared based on a legislated formula of 40 per cent to KeNHA, 21.8 per cent to KeRRA, 10.2 per cent to KURA, 1 per cent for KWS and 15 per cent to counties.

KRB retains 10 per cent, which it allocates to the agencies on a case-by-case basis, and another two per cent is used for its operations.

A KRB report said the agencies had planned for maintenance of 80,537km - half of the country’s total road network - during the 2018/19 fiscal year.

The report further states that despite the fact that fuel levy collections increased by about 30 per cent following increase of fuel levy rate from Sh12 to Sh18 per litre in June 2016, the money was still inadequate due to backlog in road maintenance.

“To generate additional funds, the Government is considering alternative financing mechanisms such as incorporating long-term infrastructure bonds, public private partnerships, introducing levies on motor vehicle insurance and annual licenses and levies on outdoor advertisements.

“Current estimates show Sh60 billion could be generated annually from these potential sources,” KRB said in its 2018/19 Annual Public Roads Programme report.

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