What you need to know:
- The Marsabit-Moyale road is to be completed by early May, according to a Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) official.
- Construction of the Merille-Marsabit road is ongoing and the 86km section remaining is expected to be complete by mid-2016.
- The road will also link Mombasa port and Nairobi to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.
- Marsabit County Commissioner Peter Thuku said the road will increase trade between Kenya and Ethiopia.
The construction of the Merille-Marsabit-Moyale road which is set to connect Kenya to Ethiopia is almost complete.
The Marsabit-Moyale road is to be completed by early May, according to a Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) official.
The Isiolo-Merille-Marsabit-Moyale road is part of the Lamu-Port-South Sudan Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) corridor funded by the government and the European Union at a cost of Sh13.7 billion.
A spot check by the Nation revealed that construction workers were working on the final touches of the highway that would connect Kenya to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
According to an engineer involved in the construction, the road is currently being covered with a layer of tarmac chips to make it more durable.
The road is also being marked from Moyale to Marsabit Town in an exercise expected to be completed early May.
The section from Marsabit that runs through Turbi, covers 240 kilometres.
Construction of the Merille-Marsabit road is ongoing and the 86km section remaining is expected to be complete by mid-2016.
The section was set to be completed in October 2014 but the contractor sought an extension because of the rough terrain.
The road is being constructed by Gulsan, a Turkish company.
With heavy rains pounding the region, the contractor is sometimes made to wait as it is difficult to work on the road during heavy rains.
The new road infrastructure is set to open up the region as farmers will now transport their produce to market when still fresh.
In addition, tourists will travel to the county easily from other regions of the country.
Marsabit has a game reserve inside Marsabit forest that attracts wildlife such as elephants, buffaloes, zebras among others.
The road is funded by the European Union and the National Government.
INCREASE TRADE WITH ETHIOPIA
Marsabit County Commissioner Peter Thuku said the road will increase trade between Kenya and Ethiopia.
He said the county will increase revenue from the economic activities expected to arise from the road connecting to other counties.
The commissioner pointed out that livestock keepers, making up to 90 per cent of the county’s residents, will now transport their livestock easily to market.
He added that most livestock keepers lost their animals in the past due to bad roads.
‘’It is a big boost to the county. It will open up trade with other counties and Marsabit will surely benefit.
“The trade between Kenya and Ethiopia will also boost the regional economy,” said Mr Thuku.
LINK MOMBASA PORT
The road will also link Mombasa port and Nairobi to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.
The corridor will also offer an alternative to importers and exporters from Mombasa.
Mr Thuku told the Nation in his office that the road will also help boost security as the police will make patrols more easily.
Engineers involved in the construction said workers faced a lot of challenges.
Lack of water hampered work as the contractors had to sink boreholes due to drought ravaging the county.
Workers have to share the rare commodity with the residents.
The boreholes that were used by Wu Yi Construction Company are to be reverted to the residents after the completion of the project that began two years ago.