Transportation in the lower Eastern Counties of Kitui, Machakos, and Makueni, is expected to receive a major boost once the Sh18.4 billion Kibwezi-Kitui road is commissioned by president Uhuru Kenyatta.
This is according to Kitui’s County Commissioner, Thomas Sankei, who noted that the head of state will commission the Kibwezi-Kitui road during his tour in the region that was scheduled for 5th-6th July.
According to many, the road will foster socio-economic development in the region through easing transportation and making trade easer.
The projected highway will stretch to 192 kilometres opening up the Kitui South Constituency that has withstood the test of time without a single inch of tarmac since Kenya’s independence.
The County Commissioner also noted that Kitui South is home to valuable minerals such as iron ore and limestone. The constituency is also an agro-potential region with many drought-resistant plants and a gateway to Tsavo East National Park. resistant crops and livestock management.
The Kibwezi-Kitui Road that opens up the Eastern region to the Northern corridor is currently at 98 per cent complete and the president’s commissioning will mark a new era on the project that was launched in 2016.
The road stretches through Kibwezi town, Kitui town, Mutomo, Ikutha, Kabati, all through to Migwani and begins from the Nairobi-Mombasa Highway in Makueni county.
“Kenya has been making considerable headway over the past two years on a development agenda designed to strengthen the country’s position as a leading regional transport and logistics centre for the East Africa region under the ‘Big Four’ Agenda,” the County Commissioner said.
According to the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA), the road will provide an alternative route from the coastal region to the Lower, Upper Eastern Regions and Ethiopia, which will consequently relieve the traffic congestion on Mombasa-Nairobi highway. It will constitute part of the larger Mombasa-Addis Ababa Transport Corridor that links the Mombasa-Nairobi Highway (A8) at Kibwezi and the Nairobi-Addis Ababa Highway (A2) at Isiolo.
“The traffic to these areas from Mombasa will avoid going through Nairobi once the entire stretch to Isiolo via Mwingi and Mikinduri to join the Meru-Maua Road at Muriri is upgraded to bitumen standard,” KeNHA said.