The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved $147.3 million to Kenya and $105.7 million to Uganda for the upgrading of the 118 kilometre road connecting Kapchorwa, Uganda to Kitale, Kenya; and the construction of a One-Stop-Border-Post in Suam and a 32-kilometer bypass in Eldoret town in Kenya.
The loans represent 89 per cent and 88 per cent of the Uganda and Kenya project costs respectively with the government of Uganda contributing the remaining 11 per cent and Kenya the other 12 per cent.
Amadou Oumarou, Director of the Infrastructure, Cities and Urban Development Department, AfDB said the project would contribute to integrating of the two countries; improving the quality of life by providing economic facilities to people in the zone of influence; and increasing agricultural production by reducing transport costs and providing access to markets.
The upgrade of the road section from gravel to bitumen will reduce the travel time from Kapchorwa to Suam from four hours to one and a half hours; and from one and a half hours to 45 minutes from Suam to Kitale, consequently reducing transport costs.
With the project area very fertile and having a high agricultural potential, the new road will facilitate the supply of farm inputs and transport of produce to markets.
The One-Stop-Border-Post will facilitate trade between the two countries as well as lower the cost of doing business, positively impacting industrialization in the region.
The Eldoret bypass will reduce traffic congestion in the town by increasing the current average speed from 26 km/hr to 42 km/hr an avoiding crossing of the city centre.
The new roads will adopt appropriate and clear signage to minimize accident risks. In addition, the project includes a road safety awareness campaign; a refurbished post-crash care centre and procurement of an ambulance and theatre equipment.
The project will overall improve accessibility, increase mobility and contribute to improving the living standards of the 1.4 million people in the project’s zone of influence.
The project is expected to be completed in 2021.