KENYA ROAD AGENCY WANTS YET MORE MONEY FOR MARA ROADS
In what can only be described a damning admission has the Kenya Roads Board now asked for a lot of more money to complete a series of road projects, both new and upgrades from the mudholes and craterscapes many have become. In particular the section from Narok to the main entrance to the Masai Mara Game Reserves at the Sekenani Gate is so dilapidated that drivers have repeatedly threatened to go on strike, road side vendors blocked the shambolic road to express their dissatisfaction and tourists have been known to arrive at their lodges and safari camps in need of a chiropractic to sort out their backs.
For years the ping pong game has persisted between the Narok County Council, which manages Kenyas highest profile game reserve, and the national government, with empty assurance chasing empty assurance while safari operators spend fortunes to repair broken axles, replace shock absorbers and suspensions and suffer from the acid comments of tourists sent by road to the Mara.
However, various other roads too are in limbo with bridges broken down, making access to the Mara from the other side, namely from Kisumu, Kisii and the nearest Tanzanian border post for official crossings by tourists the Bologonja border is only available to individual travelers but not for organized tours difficult to say the least, and during heavy rains all but impossible.
The countrys tourism sector, a key economic pillar for Kenya in terms of foreign exchange earnings, investments and jobs, has often complained about the sorry state of affairs but to no avail so far. The Roads Board now asking for a sizeable increase in their budget for roads in the area is finally an admission that it is after all underfacilitation and giving other roads priority, and that the tourism fraternity has been largely misled over progress and speed of the road to the Sekenani gate being completed. Watch this space.