The Authority has invested one hundred and forty three Million in the 2016-2017 Financial Year for maintenance of roads in its North Rift Region, to enhance the urban road network. The money will be used to fund roadworks in Six Counties namely Uasin Gishu, Trans Nzoia, West Pokot, Nandi, Baringo and Turkana Counties.
This Financial Year the Authority has prioritized projects that will aid in decongesting and opening up of towns in the Six Counties in the region. Currently the KURA North Rift Region road network is estimated to stand at a total of 191 km out of which 12% is paved and the other 87% is either gravel or earth roads. Eng. Silas Kinoti, the Ag. Director General speaking during a Board inspection of roads in the North Rift Region said that this Financial Year the Authority is keen on increasing the number of paved roads.
Notably, Eng. Kinoti attributed the low percentage of paved roads in the region to inadequate funding and called for partnership with County Governments to increase funding for development and improvement of roads in the region.
Eng. Daniel Njora who spoke on behalf of the Board called on the Regions staff to ensure that the works are delivered on time with strict observance of quality in the implementation of the approved work plans. Eng. Njora further called for Stakeholder engagement in prioritization of work plans to ensure that the Authority obtains maximum value in its expenditure.
Eng. Njora also observed that a total of 47km of roads has been proposed for construction through the 10,000km Low Volume Seal Roads Program in the Region. This is expected to further boost the urban road network in the region.
In the meantime, KURA has adopted a strategic approach in management of the urban infrastructure in North Rift by upgrading to bitumen standards of Ring Roads and arterial roads to open up and decongest towns within the Counties covered by the region.
During a Courtesy call by the team on the County Government of Baringo, Residents were warned against encroaching on the road reserve. Governor Benjamin of Baringo County said that the County will not approve any plans that are deemed to affect the road reserve in a bid to protect the road corridors. Similar sentiments were echoed by Governor Jackson Mandago of Uasin Gishu County who pointed out that the County had launched a beaconing plan to install beacons on the road boundaries to deter encroachment.
The Board also inspected projects in Trans Nzoia County which has been allocated a total of Sixteen Million Five Hundred Thousand this Financial Year. The Deputy Governor Dr. Stanley Kenei Tarus who met the team at his office requested KURA to explore partnering with the County for joint supervision of projects to bolster the Authority’s efforts in delivery of contracted works.
The Board noted with satisfaction that the County Governments were willing to discuss Road reclassification with the National Government particularly, KURA with a view to reclassify roads within CBD’s of urban areas to be managed by KURA.