What you need to know:
- KeNHA has issued a tender for the construction of the Murang’a section of the road covering 31 kilometres.
- KeNHA said the road is expected to unlock the economy of the area by boosting goods transportation especially agricultural produce.
The Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) has revived plans for the Sh30 billion Mau Mau Road project, which had been suspended after three government agencies failed to approve the project.
KeNHA on Tuesday issued a tender for the construction of the Murang’a section of the road covering 31 kilometres. The road, once complete, will span Murang’a, Kiambu, Nyeri, and Nyandarua counties.
It will be built using proceeds from the road levy charged on fuel. The works on the Murang’a section of the road will involve tarmacking of the Mitarakwa - Ha Paulo -Mbari ya Hiti - Gatuya, Mbari Ya Hiti - Gitige Road covering 15 kilometres.
Works will also include tarmacking Githambo – Nduruini – Matharite – Githiga - Kahatia – Nduruini Road covering 16 kilometres. Completion of the road is projected at 36 months.
“The total length of the project will be approximately 31 kilometres and will be funded under the government of Kenya Development Levy Fund,” said KeNHA.
KeNHA said the road is expected to unlock the economy of the area by boosting goods transportation especially agricultural produce such as coffee and tea, which are grown in the region.
“Development of the roads will promote social welfare, economic activities as well as agricultural production,” the authority said.
KeNHA tendered for the project last year but cancelled the work a month after President William Ruto took office, setting the commencement of the project back for months.
The move came after the National Environment Management Authority (Nema) had failed to approve an environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) report.
Further, the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) and the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) said construction of the road cutting across Aberdare Forest would interfere with the local ecosystem.
The 54-kilometre Ihithe - Aberdare Forest – Kahuruko – Ndunyu Njeru section of the road will traverse 25 kilometres of closed canopy forest in Aberdare.
The impasse, however, ended after Nema in April approved the ESIA for the project allowing KeNHA to proceed with the tendering process.
“The majority of the identified adverse impacts are short-term in nature, of low significance, and will cease upon completion of the construction phase,” said the report.
A section of leaders from counties where the road traverses had lobbied President Ruto to intervene to expedite construction of the road which they said would open up the economies of the region.