Uhuru’s legacy: Race against time to finish Coast projects

Ongoing construction of the Sh4.5 billion Makupa Causeway

Ongoing construction of the Sh4.5 billion Makupa Causeway in Mombasa.

Photo credit: Wachira Mwangi | Nation Media Group

The Jubilee government is racing against time to complete key infrastructure projects worth about Sh1.4 trillion ahead of the elections.

With less than two months before President Uhuru Kenyatta’s second and final term ends, all eyes are on the projects the government touted as having the potential to change the region’s economic fortunes.

Being initiatives that formed key planks of the Jubilee Party’s campaign strategy to gain a foothold in Coast region in the 2017 polls, government agents are keen to ensure they’re done before Mr Kenyatta exits the presidency to form part of his legacy.

Asked if the projects are on course or whether the targets might shift, Presidential Delivery Unit boss Andrew Wakahiu exuded confidence of completing them on time.

“For the projects that are complete, we’re only waiting for the President to cut the tape,” he told the Nation.

The projects that are expected to catalyse development for a region that is heavily dependent on tourism include the Dongo Kundu Southern Bypass in Mombasa, dualling of the Mombasa-Mtwapa highway and the Sh35 billion expansion of the Mzima II water pipeline.

The second Mzima pipeline aims to complement the existing one that supplies 40,000 cubic metres of water a day and serves over five million people in Taita Taveta, Kwale, Kilifi and Mombasa counties.

The planned modernisation of the Shimoni Fish Port in Kwale County also features prominently in the development plans for the region.

The Kenya Ports Authority has awarded a Sh2.6 billion tender for its construction to Southern Engineering Company Ltd.

Twenty-foot containers

Finished projects include the second container terminal at Mombasa Port, Phase One of Lamu Port, the new Kipevu Oil terminal (Sh40 billion), the Kenya National Shipping Lines and a number of road projects.

The new container terminal, which will start operations in the coming weeks, is expected to accommodate an additional 450 twenty-foot containers.

The Mombasa Transport Master Plan Road Project, which includes the 11km Dongo Kundu Phase One, the Mombasa-Jomvu highway and the Likoni pedestrian bridge, have been completed.

The second oil terminal is expected to cut petroleum products costs by lowering demurrage costs, which greatly increase the cost of such commodities.

The terminal is part of the Mombasa Port Development Programme, which is designed to ensure accommodation of larger vessels, giving Mombasa a competitive edge over the Dar es Salaam and Djibouti ports.

There is also the Dongo Kundu Special Economic Zone, which was added to make up for lost business after the Standard Gauge Railway line moved a lot of port operations to the hinterland in Naivasha.

Ongoing projects include the Sh4.5 billion 450-metre four-lane Makupa Causeway bridge.

The Ronald Ngala Utalii College in Kilifi County is complete.

Other projects are the Mama Ngina waterfront, which was revamped at Sh460 million, and tarmacking of the Sh4.2 billion Malindi-Sala Gate highway, which is 90 per cent complete.

The project will connect the resort town of Malindi with Tsavo East National Park and Voi in Taita Taveta County.

The Sh2.3 billion Baricho Bridge and approach roads at Langobaya will connect Marafa Hells’ Kitchen and Dakatcha Woodland forest.

Timely delivery

In January, the national development implementation technical team led by its chairperson, Interior Principal Secretary (PS) Karanja Kibicho, assured residents of timely delivery.

Some 40 PSs were deployed to inspect the landmark projects to determine their progress.

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