President Uhuru Kenyatta Thursday launched the Sh5.3 billion roadworks to dual the Athi River-Machakos section of Mombasa Road as he led the country in celebrating this year’s Mashujaa Day.
China Railway 21st Bureau Group is constructing the 20km dual carriageway – the latest of the multi-billion shilling infrastructure projects Mr Kenyatta has launched in recent months.
The action came only a day after the President flagged off work on the 120km second phase of the Standard Gauge Railway linking Nairobi with the central Rift Valley town of Naivasha.
The dual carriageway is meant to ease traffic congestion along the busy Mombasa-Nairobi Road.
Mr Kenyatta said the dual carriageway would make it possible for people to live in Machakos and work in Nairobi or work in Machakos and live in Nairobi.
“With the dual carriageway, more people can now live here in Machakos and work in Nairobi while those living in Nairobi can come and work here,” Mr Kenyatta said at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos where the Mashujaa Day celebrations were held.
The President promised to return to Machakos in the coming week “to launch more road projects and a programme to deal with the drought affecting many Kenyans.”
The dualing of the Athi River-Machakos turn off section of Mombasa Road comes with three interchanges at Athi River town, Daystar University and Mua Hills junctions as well as eight kilometres of service roads on either side of the main carriageway at Athi River.
The Kenyan government has teamed up with the World Bank under the ‘Kenya Transport Sector Support Project’ to finance the roadworks expected to take 18 months.
Mr Kenyatta has continued with an aggressive infrastructure expansion programme that his predecessor Mwai Kibaki started 12 years ago.
Mr Kenyatta launched the works on the road on his way to Machakos where he led the country in celebrating this year’s Heroes’ Day.
Speaking at the Machakos stadium, Mr Kenyatta steered clear of politics and instead called on Kenyans to shun ethnicity, emulate the country’s heroes and work towards realising the dreams they had for the country.
“My generation of leaders must realise the promise of this new Constitution. We must entrench devolution, we must restore the unity our fathers attained,” he said, adding that such a feat would only be achieved when the country’s politics is cleared of ethnic hatred and division.
Mr Kenyatta asked leaders across the political, business and societal divide to help Kenyans navigate through the charged electioneering period in the coming months.
Credit: Business Daily