President William Ruto has today commissioned the construction of the dualling of the 40kilometers Mtwapa-Kilifi Road along the Mombasa-Malindi Highway.
The Mtwapa-Kwa Kadzengo-Kilifi (A7) road which will also link Kenya and Tanzania.
The road is part of the Sh7.5 billion ($61.4 million) multinational Malindi-Lunga Lunga/Horohoro-Tanga-Bagamoyo East African coastal road corridor.
According to the president, the project that runs through Mtwapa town, Kadzengo to Kilifi Bridge will reduce traffic, and enhance connectivity and safety of pedestrians since it will include a 10 km footpath and 6 footbridges.
The president directed Ministry of Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen and the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) to revamp Mtwapa.
Murkomen is said to be keen on streamlining operations at KeNHA including the controversial recruitment of KeNHA Director General Engineer Kung’u Ndung’u which was said to be flawed as he emerged number four among the candidates interviewed.
The president warned that public money must be spent prudently cautioning against graft and corruption in award and execution of government contracts.
“I thank our partners and I promise to ensure the resources are utilised properly and nobody is going to abuse the funds in our hands to develop infrastructure.” He noted.
The head of state noted that the highway will also be extended to the Tanzania border to foster trade between the two countries as part of uniting the East African Community (EAC) economic region.
He has promised to put more emphasis on infrastructural developments to boost connectivity, trade and tourism sectors within the EAC region.
“This is an important road linking Kenya and Tanzania. It will boost trade and economies between the two countries. It will connect the East African Community in terms of integration, jobs, businesses and eradicate poverty.” The president said.
The road will be completed within 36 months.
The corridor is being built through a grant from the African Development Bank (AfDB) in partnership with African Development Fund, EU-African Infrastructure Trust Fund Grant and the Kenyan government.
AfDB representative Hussein Iman said the road is a crucial project connecting Kenya and Tanzania and will facilitate trade, accessibility and cross border movement.
European Union Ambassador to Kenya Henriatte Geiger said roads are significant for growth.
“This is a significant project that will boost connectivity,” she said.
Kilifi governor Gideon Mung’aro said the road will also boost tourism.
“Tourists used to get stuck along this road due to traffic jams. Mtwapa town needed a face-lift and expansion of this road will boost trade in this area. We want Mtwapa to be a business hub to operate for 24 hours,” said Mung’aro.
Blue Economy Cabinet Secretary Salim Mvurya said the road will boost trade between Kenya and Tanzania.