The tarmacking of Runyenjes-Ugweri Road in Embu County. [Photo: Joseph Muchiri, Standard]
Kenya Roads Board wants more funding to help in the rehabilitation of roads and bridges. The Board said the amount required is more than what the agency is allocated.
Speaking during an inspection tour of major roads in the counties of Kajiado, Machakos, Makueni, Embu, and Meru, KRB led by its Executive Chairman and CEO Eng Jacob Ruwa deplored the poor state of a roads and bridges that are not under it.
“Our mandate is to maintain road network. However, there is an increasing need for more funds to specifically go to the rehabilitation of roads and bridges some of which are not within our mandate,” Ruwa said.
During the tour, he said the amount given to Kenya Wildlife Services to maintain roads within National Parks is inadequate for the rehabilitation of Namanga-Meshinani Bridge. “The Namanga- Meshinani Bridge is in bad shape, yet it is the main gateway to Amboseli National Park,” he said.
He inspected roads within Kajiado and Amboseli National Park and said the works on the Namanga-Meshinani Bridge would require up to Sh400 million. The other bridges include a drift across River Muoni in Makueni and one along the Kivandani-Masinga Road.
“Amboseli National Park is the largest revenue earner for KWS but the road leading to it from Namanga is impassable during the rainy season,” said Daniel Onsembe, Assistant Director for Southern region at the KWS. “This is because the water flows across Namanga-Meshinani rivers during the rainy season making it difficult to use the road to the park.”
He said the bridge work estimates were carried out five years ago and there is need to review them. “The amount of money we receive at KWS to maintain the roads within the park is not sufficient for rehabilitating the bridge. We are seeking more support for this particular bridge,” said Kenneth Ole Nashu, Senior Warden, Amboseli National Park.
Ruwa also disclosed that KRB will collect more funds this financial year due to an increase in fuel levy. “This year we expect to collect in excess of Sh60 billion following the increase of fuel levy.”
“The Government collected over Sh40 billion from the fuel levy in the 2015/16 financial year and Sh8 billion from the Roads Annuity Fund. The amount has since been utilised in the maintenance of roads,” Ruwa said.