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Roads strategic plan rollout key pillar in development

By - | December 14th 2012

Another day, another pillar as President Kibaki counts down to his retirement as Head of State and cements the cornerstones that have come to define his legacy. Yesterday, he was presiding over the launch of the Roads 2000 Strategic Plan 2013-2017.

Started in 2004, the roads rehabilitation and expansion programme has seen 7,800km of road infrastructure laid out.

This next phase will see 707km of new roads as well as maintain, cumulatively, 46,000km of the road network.

Working in partnership with International Labour Organisation, European Union, World Bank, Africa Development Bank, and friendly governments of Germany, Finland, Sweden, and France, the blueprint also has a labour component as it creates thousands of direct and indirect jobs across the areas the roads traverse within the next four years.

Moving goods, services and persons efficiently is what turns the wheels of industry and fills up marketplaces with buyers and sellers. Roads should, therefore, be in tip-top condition.

But that is rarely the case. The odd ‘cowboy’ contractor and the occasional fury of nature such as rain, make a mockery of some of the infrastructure. That is why there is a continuous rehabilitation programme built into the system.

It is nonetheless a wise regime that realises that roads are the lifeblood of a nation’s socio-economic health.

The Government realised this salient fact very early into office and added roads, ICT, airports, ports and harbours, energy generation and transmission, access to basic education, affordable credit, health facilities, and an enabling political environment if it were to deliver on its mandate.

Just as the President enumerated two days ago on his last Jamhuri Day speech, such infrastructure will continue to eat up significant amounts of the national budget.

For a country that cannot get its people and goods from Point A to Point B cannot seriously say it has a development agenda.

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