Mombasa-Nairobi road set for Sh10.4b facelift

The Government has signed a multi-billion agreement with the African Development Bank (ADB) to convert a section of the Mombasa-Nairobi highway into a dual carriageway to ease congestion.

The proposed 11.7km superhighway is to be built between Mombasa town and Mariakani Weighbridge and is expected to cost Sh10.4 billion.

The signing of the agreement at the Swahili Beach Resort in Kwale County was done on the sidelines of a donors' conference organised by TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) in partnership with the National Treasury.

The conference was convened to brief donors on projects that need funding at the port of Mombasa.

Some of the development partners in attendance included The Japan International Cooperation Agency, The World Bank, EU delegation to Kenya, Development Bank of South Africa, African Development Bank and UK's Department for International Development.

TMEA aims to raise USD 484 million (Sh46.9 billion) to fund projects like the relocation of the Kipevu Oil Terminal, deepening and straightening of berths 1 to 5 for general cargo and deepening and straightening of berth 6-10.

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said expansion of the road is expected to ease access to Mombasa Island, which usually has huge traffic as it hosts a port.

Poverty reduction

"ADB has already used Sh270 billion in support of social and infrastructural development in the country to date," he said, adding the road project was in line with the Government's growth and poverty reduction efforts.

ADB Regional Director Gabriel Negatu said the project is expected to start before the end of the year.

"Our support is in line with our strategy to align our funding programmes with the country's Vision 2030. The road is a key import and export gateway and is an important section of the northern corridor, which links Mombasa to landlocked countries," he added.

Meanwhile, a National Intelligence Service (NIS) officer was admitted to a Mombasa hospital after he was allegedly shot by navy officers at Shimoni in Kwale County on Saturday morning.

The officer, who is based at Shimoni station, was shot thrice in the stomach and yesterday doctors were operating on him to remove bullets lodged in his stomach.

Speaking to The Standard, a senior police officer who requested anonymity said the navy soldiers guarding local installations mistook the officer for a terrorist after he failed to respond to warning shots to stop to his car.

"The soldiers had earlier been told that a group of youths, who are not locals, had been seen around the base," said the police officer.

Kwale County Commissioner Evans Achoki said the officer was in stable condition.