Kenya news update – Financing pact for ‘Southern Bypass’ signed between Kenya and China

The Peoples Republic of China has yesterday signed the financing deal with the Kenyan government to begin the process of constructing a southern bypass around the city, which will run nearly 30 kilometres from the citys outskirts along Mombasa Road, giving through traffic to the Rift Valley and beyond the long awaited escape route. Traffic in Nairobi is a nightmare at best of times and roads are turned into massive parking lots at worst of times, so the new highway will bring much needed relief to commuters streaming daily to the Central Business District, as well as the heavy vehicles in transit across the city from the port of Mombasa, for which the same traffic nightmare persisted for too long.
Chinas financial outlay through soft loans will be nearly 17 billion Kenya Shillings, covering some 85 percent of the expected cost of the project, while the Kenyan government will have to find the balance to make the project a reality.
Only last year was it reported here that the World Bank had pulled out of the deal, citing incompatible partnerships in connection with the winning company of the tender at the time. New tender documents are presently being prepared and adverts for expression of interest are expected to go public by latest mid December, so that the process to select a main contractor can be sped along and construction commence as soon as possible.
It is understood that environmental and conservation groups are monitoring the process carefully and have expressed their concern that the Nairobi National Park might be hemmed in making migration already greatly reduced as it is all but impossible in the future, as the route cuts across the crucial wildlife corridor across the Athi Plains. Watch this space.