PRESIDENT KIBAKI FORMALLY COMMISSIONS KENYA’S FIRST SUPERHIGHWAY
The brand new 8 lane highway, connecting Nairobi with the municipality of Thika, was yesterday formally commissioned by President Mwai Kibaki, under whose leadership the project was launched in 2009. Highway construction and rehabilitation and major infrastructure projects like the expansion of aviation facilities across Kenya, not just at JKIA where Project Greenfield is now awaiting the ground braking by Kibaki before he leaves office, have become a hallmark of his presidency and something all Kenyans, even his political rivals, have admitted to. Major plans for new rail links, for the metropolitan area of Nairobi but also opening up links to Ethiopia and South Sudan, are in the making too and while traffic in Nairobi is still a daily nerve wrecker, there is now light on the horizon with the planned construction of the Southern Bypass and a ‘double decker’ across the city’s most congested Uhuru Highway.
Kibaki in his launch address also blasted criminals for looting lamp posts and railings from the newly constructed highway and other major roads around the capital Nairobi and his ‘encouraging’ words to the police yesterday will undoubtedly result in a few ambushes being laid and the criminals engaged in shootouts with predictable results.
Notably it was Chinese construction companies which brought in the project in record time, though not at estimated cost due to the major inflationary pressures over the past 18 months, a lesson however for local construction companies many of which in the past failed to complete projects or ‘ate’ their payments, then either producing shoddy work or not finishing their contracts at all. A series of other major overland highways, connecting to the Ugandan borders at Malaba and Busia, the Tanzanian borders at Taveta and Namanga and the Ethiopian border are presently also being planned, making road travel across Kenya in the future safer and certainly faster. Watch this space.