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EAC seeks 12bn to build Isebania-Ahero highway

COUNTIES
By By JAMES OMORO | March 28th 2014

By JAMES OMORO

The East African Community is seeking Sh12 billion from the  European Union to improve  the Isebania –Ahero  highway, which links Kenya to Tanzania. The Community’s Principal  Civil Engineer Hosea Nyangweso says they wanted to re-work the highway by expanding it to help reduce  accidents.

“We want to expand the width to seven metres  as required by  international standards,”  said Nyangweso during a meeting  with Homa Bay Governor Cyprian Awiti on Wednesday.

“The road has had the highest number of accidents in the region because of its status. It is too narrow, especially the stretch between Kisii and Rongo,” Nyangweso said.

He said the community’s road network department had approached the EU to  fund the project.  “We are working on a project proposal,” he added.

NEW TECHNOLOGY

Mr Awiti called for harmonised traffic rules across East Africa to help reduce accidents.

Meanwhile, a Sh3.3 billion road construction project has commenced in Homa Bay County. Yesterday, Governor Awiti said an engineering firm – the Oasis Group International – which won the tender would tarmac 205 km of the  county’s road network using a cheaper road construction technology borrowed from the United States of America.

He said the new technology was more than 50 per cent cheaper and the firm competitively won the tender after edging out 19 other international and four local bidders.

“While the cost of building a bitumen road in Kenya costs between Sh50 million and Sh80 million per kilometre,  the Oasis Group  is charging Sh16m per kilometre,”  said Awiti who was accompanied by  Kabondo-Kasipul MP Sylvans Osele, Deputy Governor Hamilton Orata and county transport executive Eliud Otieno.

MBOYA’S HONOUR

The governor spoke at Kadongo, in Kabondo Kasipul Constituency where he commissioned work on the Kadongo–Mawego  road, which is among the 11 roads  being tarmacked under the Sh3.3 billion project.

The firm will improve 11 other roads across the county.  Among  the roads to be done include the ring roads on Mfangano  and Rusinga islands.

“The road on Rusinga is being built in honour of the late  Economic  Planning Minister Tom Mboya who hailed from the island. It will also open the island to investors and tourists,” Mr Awiti said.

JOB OPPORTUNITIES

He said the government would save more than 50 per cent of the cost in improving the roads. The roads, totalling about 205km, cover the entire county and it is believed they will have a great impact on the economy of the region.

“Each of the eight counties will have a taste of the new roads. I must say this is one of the biggest development projects I have commissioned this year,” said Awiti.

The roads to be tarmacked include: Kadongo–Gendia  Road, Karabok Adiedoo Road, Sikri–Lida  road, Homa bay–Kipasi Road and Rusinga Ring Road. Others are Mfangano Island Ring Road, Olare–Yimbo Road, Lida Rakwaro  Road, Kowuondo–DB MIgori Road, Kagaga–DB Migori Road and Opapo Marindi Road.

“The roads once tarmacked will end transport nightmares and quicken the delivery of produce to the markets,” said the governor.

The construction is also expected to benefit the local community in terms of employment.

“I have issued firm instructions that job opportunities arising from the construction of these roads be reserved for local communities, save for a few professional jobs that will require expertise from outside,” said Awiti to an uproar from the crowd.

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