The second slum upgrading project that intend to construct 440km roadnetwork to cover eleven Nairobi slums kicks-off in Kibera's Sarang'ombe ward. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Roads in Nairobi’s informal settlements will soon have walkways and cycle lanes, Kenya Urban Roads Authority (Kura) has announced. The authority says walkways and cycle lanes are an essential part of the ongoing construction of 408km of access roads across the capital’s informal settlements. Kura said yesterday that 22km of access roads under the Sh5.8 billion project had already been completed.

Kura Director General Silas Kinoti said the model for the planned walkways and cycle lanes in slums borrows from the non-motorised transport corridors project being implemented by Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) in the city’s Central Business District.

NMS has so far constructed walkways and cycle lanes on Kenyatta Avenue, Wabera Street and Muindi Mbingu Street as part of the ongoing upgrading of city roads. The move is aimed at providing safe walking and cycling spaces for residents who choose to cycle or walk in the city.

ALSO READ: Kilifi residents celebrate first ever tarmac road

Engineer Kinoti said re-carpeting and upgrading the roads to bitumen standards had already started in nine informal settlements, namely Dagoretti, Kabiria, Kawangware, Utawala, Ruai, Mathare, Kibera, Mihang’o and Dandora.

“As of Friday last week, Kura had done 22 kilometres and we are continuing with the project which will be a game-changer of infrastructure in city’s informal settlements,” he said.

Accelerate development

Also to benefit from the project, said Kinoti, were Riruta, parts of Dagoretti North, Kangemi, Mukuru, parts of Githurai 44 and 45, Mwiki and Zimmerman. He said the project would accelerate development in the settlements by making them more accessible.

ALSO READ: KeNHA reopens Airport South Road six years after closure

“Poor roads have impeded access to critical services and other essentials services like emergency and disaster response in case of fire outbreaks and others,” he said.

Kinoti said in Kibra, 28km of road network would be upgraded. The roads, he said, would connect with the area to Langata, Southern Bypass and other roads. Kibra, Mathare and Mukuru kwa Njenga slums have already been earmarked as Special Planning Areas.