The 740km road will open up the north eastern region to trade.
Construction of 740km Isiolo-Mandera highway is set to begin in January next year as Kenya seeks to improve security in North Eastern while opening up the remote region to trade.
The road, which will be built at a cost of Sh83.7 billion, is expected to enhance connectivity among Horn of Africa countries while facilitating domestic and regional trade.
The Isiolo-Mandera road traverses Isiolo, Meru, Wajir, Garissa, and Mandera counties which are notorious for deadly banditry attacks and smuggling of drugs and contraband goods.
Dubbed the Horn of Africa Gateway Development Project, the road is part of the Lapsset Corridor project that seeks to transform Isiolo town into a resort city.
The highway will be financed by the World Bank, the lead financier, in partnership with the African Development Bank (AfBD), and a consortium of five Arab banks.
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The Isiolo-Mandera road is expected to improve security, slash travel time from Isiolo to Mandera from 96 hours to 12 hours thus reducing commodity prices in North Eastern.
According to the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA), the project has been divided into six segments for easier construction management and financial backing.
Already, funding for the first segment – a 190km stretch between Isiolo and Modogashe – has been secured, paving the way for the start of the project.
“Award of contracts for the Isiolo-Kulamawe and Kulamawe-Modogashe roads is expected in three weeks with ground-breaking slated for January 2022,” KeNHA director general Kung’u Ndung’u said last week.
Mr Ndung’u added that preparations for the other sections were ongoing to ensure that the entire Isiolo-Mandera road is completed in the next five to six years.
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EU parliament has summoned CEO to Brussels to justify the project.
The BRT corridor was scheduled to open for trials in July.
The 28km road is expected to be ready by Jan 15, 2023.
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