Kenya, Uganda seek transport corridor funds with eye on trade

Wednesday December 30 2015

Road construction in Uganda. PHOTO | FILE

A road under construction in Uganda: The road will save Kenya some revenue as Kenyans are currently crossing over to Uganda to buy goods. PHOTO | FILE  

By STELLAR MURUMBA

Kenya and Uganda plan to build another corridor to boost trade between the two East African countries.

Uganda National Roads Authority and the Kenya National Highways Authority are seeking funds from the African Development Bank (AfDB) for the project which will traverse Uasin Gishu County and to the west of the boundaries of Eldoret, Trans Nzoia.

The proposed road project dubbed multinational Uganda and Kenya: Kapchorwa – Suam – Endebess – Kitale - Eldoret Bypass Roads Project is expected to start at Cheplaskei; about 13 kilometres from the centre of Eldoret town, following a north westerly direction traversing the Eldoret – Kapsabet - Kisumu road at Kapsaret.

Secure 100 acres

Trans Nzoia governor Patrick Khaemba, in an earlier interview, told the Business Daily that they had intensified talks with the national government to secure 100 acres of the Suam forest on the Kenya-Ugandan border to set up a trading centre.

There is no trading centre on the Kenyan side of the border, and the road will save the country some revenue as Kenyans are currently crossing over to Uganda to buy goods.

Mr Khaemba said that residents at the Kenyan border are spending a lot of money in Uganda and if the AfDB approves the funding to tarmac the Kitale- Suam highway, economic activities would be spurred.

“The Ugandans at the border rely on Kenya for fuel, fertiliser and maize seeds while Kenyans purchase bananas, sugar, electricity in addition to accommodation offered in rental apartments.

Rainy seasons

“The 35 kilometre of the road on the Kenyan side and 73 kilometre stretch on Ugandan side is in a poor state which renders it impassable during rainy seasons. AfDB has promised to redesign the road,” he said.

The 73 kilometre project, on the Ugandan side, starts from Kapchorwa town ending at Suam bridge, which forms the boundary of Kenya and Uganda in Bukwo sub- county.

The Kenyan government, under the same project, intends to construct Kitale - Endebess - Suam (C45) Road to bitumen standard.

Resettlement action

“The road is 45 kilometres and is a major trunk transport link to Uganda. It is an existing road alignment with a 40 metre width and tarmac on 19.7 kilometres from Kitale to Endebess and the rest from Endebess – Suam (25.3 kilometres) is gravelled road in poor condition,” read AfDB’s resettlement action plan summary.

Already, an environmental and social impact feasibility assessment has been conducted and submitted to the National Environment Management Authority.

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