CS Murkomen: Rebuilding of roads and bridges damaged by floods to cost Ksh.37.3B

    Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen says that the country will need Sh37.3 billion to restore roads and bridges swept away by flash floods during the October to December El-Nino rains and the March-April-May long rains.

    Murkomen made the announcement after a meeting with director generals of the four road agencies that is; Kungu Ndungu (Kenya National Highways Authority, KeNHA), George Kinoti (Kenya Urban Roads Authority, KURA), Philemon Kandie (Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA) and Rashid Mohamed (Kenya Roads Boards).

    According to Murkomen, KeRRA will require Sh 18.5 billion to repair rural roads while KURA has requested Sh 9.1 billion for urban roads. A further Sh 9.7 billion has been put forward by KeNHA to restore damaged sections of major highways.

    “The restoration of the damage to infrastructure has begun. Even in the absence of a budgetary allocation, the construction has begun using the meagre resources that were intended for the annual maintenance of the roads. We have started with the most critical roads where the road infrastructure was cut off and transport was hampered, especially of goods and people like the case of Gamba in Lamu and Madogo in Karisa,” said CS Murkomen.

    He has also sounded an alarm over the biting cash shortage that may make it hard to keep contractors on site, adding that his ministry is involved in negotiations with parliament and the National Treasury for more resource allocation.

    “We have been allocated in this financial year 43 billion shillings against an existing pending bill of 165 billion, meaning that we have a gap of over 120 billion shillings,” lamented the CS.

    Further, Murkomen says that the government will enter an agreement with private players to toll some roads in a bid to raise revenue to bridge the deficit. Roads already marked for tolling include Mombasa-Nairobi road within the Northern Corridor and Nairobi-Nakuru Highway extending into Malaba.

    The Cabinet Secretary has also urged counties to desist from issuing licences to traders operating along road reserves, and asked regional managers of the four roads agencies to ensure tha contractors deliver as per the terms of their tender awards to minimise damage on the roads.