Dozens of principal secretaries will tour President Uhuru Kenyatta’s key legacy projects in three coastal counties to assess their progress.
Members of the National Development Implementation Technical Committee (NDITC), led by Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho, arrived in Mombasa on Monday for a three-day tour in Kwale, Kilifi and Mombasa where more than Sh1.4 trillion has been invested in various landmark projects.
The team of about 40 will be in four groups and will tour the projects on Tuesday and Wednesday before holding a joint meeting on Thursday in a Mombasa hotel, according to a programme seen by the Nation.
Since 2015, the government has invested in infrastructure projects around Mombasa, connecting the port city with Kilifi and Kwale counties, opening up the economy of the region and boosting its prospects in transport and tourism.
Sections of the Mombasa Transport Master Plan road project – which includes the 11km Dongo Kundu phase one, the Mombasa-Jomvu road, and the Likoni pedestrian bridge – have been completed, while Dongo Kundu phases two and three and the Makupa bridge will be completed before March this year.
Locals have started benefiting from the landmark projects with the flow of traffic in and out of Mombasa improving significantly thanks to Mombasa’s Southern Bypass, a key link for Moi International Airport and Standard Gauge Railway users.
Port users have also greatly benefited from the bypass, which has reduced truck turnaround time compared with the old Kipevu Road, which was a nightmare because of perennial traffic jams.
Once the Dongo Kundu project is completed this year, it will serve as an alternative route connecting the South Coast to the Mombasa mainland without using the Likoni channel ferries, which will be a relief to travellers.
The government is also funding an economic zone at Dongo Kundu, affirming that the first berth of a new free port will be built soon.
Some of the projects underway are the Sh4.5 billion, 450-metre Makupa Causeway bridge that was commissioned by President Kenyatta last month.
The contractor, China Communications Construction Company Ltd, moved to the site this week. The bridge will link three main roads connecting the island and the mainland.
Once completed, it will help to restore the ecosystem in the area, including the free flow of water and marine life.
Kenya National Highways Authority (Kenha) Coast regional director Eric Wambua, in an earlier interview, said the project would be completed on time as there were no challenges such as compensation compared with similar projects.
“The contractor is already on site and we are giving him any support he needs to ensure he completes the project on time. The bridge will play a key role as it will improve free flow of sea water which was blocked by the current causeway,” he said then.
The Makupa Causeway, built in 1929 by the British colonial government, was a centre of controversy because of the harm it caused to the ecosystem, including loss of fish and mangroves.
The causeway separates the waters that surround the Mombasa island into Tudor Creek to the east and Port Reitz Creek to the west, hindering the free movement of water and marine life.
Kenha says once the four-lane bridge is completed in January 2022, the causeway will be demolished.
In the past two years, Kenha has completed several road projects in Mombasa County, easing traffic jams mostly in its western side, and construction has begun on the planned 30km dual carriageway from Mombasa to Mariakani, which will reduce truck traffic to and from the port.
- Projects completed in Mombasa since 2015:
- Sh1.9 billion Likoni footbridge
- Sh11 billion road from Kipevu to Miritini Dongo Kundu Phase I
- 6.5 billion Mombasa CBD-Jomvu
- Sh28 billion Dogo Kundu Phases II and III, connecting Miritini and Kwale County, which is 28km long with two bridges; 75 per cent completed.
- Sh4.5 billion Makupa Causeway bridge commissioned in December.
- Projects at initial stages:
- 13.5km Mombasa-Mtwapa highway (13.5km); December 2019; the African Development Bank approved a Sh38.4 billion financing package for the project, a few months after the European Union contributed a grant of Sh3.3 billion.
- Mombasa Gate Bridge project; Sh43.4 billion loan from Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica), now at feasibility study stage.
- The dualling of the 40.4km Mtwapa-Kwa Kadzengo-Kilifi section; at feasibility study stage.