With only a few months left to the end of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s 10-year reign, his administration is seen to be extra keen on finishing up the major infrastructure projects it embarked on during its tenure.
A majority of the projects whose cost runs into billions of shillings are nearing completion, with the Jubilee government going into overdrive to ensure they are unveiled before the upcoming August election.
From the Standard Gauge Railway to the Nairobi Expressway, these projects are expected to play a centre role in cementing President Kenyatta’s legacy.
The government has time and again dismissed the perception that the cost of the projects may have been inflated and that Kenyans might not get value for money from the huge infrastructural investment.
“Our investment is basically viable, its value for money…” Transport CS James Macharia told Citizen TV when asked about the SGR project terminating at Naivasha.
In the supplementary budget recently tabled in Parliament by the National Treasury, an additional Ksh.7.3 billion was allocated to the State Department of Infrastructure to build and maintain roads alone.
Here are 7 of the notable infrastructure legacy projects by President Kenyatta’s government:
- Dongo Kundu Bypass
The Dongo Kundu bypass in Mombasa County was proposed 30 years ago but it was not until 2016 when construction of the first phase was launched at a cost of Ksh.11 billion.
Construction of the second and third phases which cost Ksh.30 billion was launched in 2018.
The highway runs from Mombasa’s city center to the Likoni-Lunga Lunga Road is an alternative to the overwhelmed Likoni Ferry.
- Makupa Bridge
Commissioned in 2020 as a replacement to the colonial-era Makupa Causeway, the 450-metre-long Makupa Bridge is set to ease traffic flow to and from the Mombasa Island.
The Ksh.4.5 billion project is being undertaken by China Communications Construction Company and is set for completion early this year.
- Mombasa-Kwa Jomvu dual carriageway
The six-lane Mombasa-Kwa Jomvu dual carriageway which includes three one-of-a-kind interchanges at Changamwe, Mikindani and Kwa Jomvu ispart of the Ksh.16 billion Mombasa Port Area Road Development project.
The carriageway also boasts of a 660-meter-long bridge at Mwache and another at Mteza 1,440 meters long, and is expected to be opened in October after four years of construction.
- The Kipevu Oil Terminal
The new Kipevu Oil Terminal at the Mombasa port is set to replace the 50-year old terminal and is being constructed by the China Communications Construction Company.
The Ksh.40 billion project encompasses an offshore island terminal with four jetties measuring 770 meters long.
According to the Kenya Ports Authority, the new facility is capable of handling six different hydrocarbon import and export products, including aviation fuel, diesel and petrol. It is set for completion in April.
- The Standard Gauge Railway
The 472km Nairobi-Mombasa Standard Gauge Railway project was launched in 2014 and completed in 2017 at a cost of Ksh.339 billion.
Another commercial contract of Ksh.169.5 billion was signed in 2015 for extension of the railway line from Nairobi to Naivasha by the China Communications Construction Company.
The new section was opened in 2019.
However, construction of the Naivasha-Kisumu section was marred after China declined to approve a third round of funding for the project when approached in 2018.
China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi, during his state visit to the country in January, hinted at a return to the funding deal with Kenya under a grand Horn of Africa masterplan that seeks to extend the SGR from Naivasha to Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan, and eventually to the DRC.
- Nairobi expressway
The 27.1km expressway project which runs from Mlolongo through the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) past the city center to Westlands will cost Ksh73.5 billion.
The highway features a four-lane and six-lane dual carriageway and is expected to be opened by April.
The China Road and Bridge Corporation who are constructing the expressway will steer its operations for about 27 years to reclaim its cost by collection of tolls.
- The Kisumu Port:
Built in 1901, the old port of Kisumu was revamped in 2018 at a cost of Ksh.3 billion.
The mega project which is highly regarded as a fruit of the March 2018 ‘handshake’ between President Kenyatta and former opposition leader Raila Odinga saw the port yard laid in concrete and the quayside built.
Other major facelifts included replacement of the old explorers as well as refurbishment of all the buildings in the port.
The project was launched in November 2019 and by the end of 2020, it had recorded a 60 percent increase in the cargo being handled, in comparison to 2018 while the number of vessels using the new facility reportedly jumped 116 percent.