Sh8.5bn roads to boost tourism, ease transport in Kilifi

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By MATHIAS RINGA
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The construction of three key roads in Kilifi County at a cost of Sh8.5 billion is set to ease transportation of goods and passengers in the region.

The roads are also expected to boost tourism and agriculture between Kilifi, Mombasa and Taita Taveta counties

According to Infrastructure Principal Secretary John Mosonik, the construction of the 35km Kaloleni-Mavueni road at a cost of Sh2.3 billion has been completed.

He said the newly tarmacked road which would be commissioned next month would ease transportation of cargo and passengers between Mariakani, Kaloleni and Kilifi town.

On the other hand, the PS added that the 45km Mariakani-Bamba road is being tarmacked at a cost of Sh2.1 billion.

Mr Mosonik noted that when the construction of the road is completed next year, it would be the first tarmacked road in Ganze constituency.

The PS said already five kilometres of the road have been tarmacked, adding that by the end of next month, another 10km would have been tarmacked.

Mr Mosonik said the 117km Malindi-Sala Gate Road is also being tarmacked at a cost of Sh4.1 billion.

He noted that 10km of the road would have been tarmacked by the end of February, while the project is expected to be completed in 2019.

The road is key to tourism as it links Malindi resort town to Tsavo East National Park in Taita Taveta County.

Most of the tourists who come to Malindi for holiday use the road to tour Tsavo for game drives as it is a shorter route compared to the Malindi-Mombasa highway.

President Uhuru Kenyatta launched the construction of the road in September last year and is expected to be completed in October 2019.

The tarmacking of the road is among projects being implemented by the government through the Kenya Rural Roads Authority’s 10,000 low volume seal roads programme.

Hoteliers and tour operators are upbeat that the construction of the Malindi-Sala Gate Road would boost tourism in Kilifi and Taita Taveta Counties.

As a result of the pathetic condition of the road, tourists take between three and four hours to travel from Malindi to Tsavo.

Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers (KAHC) Kilifi County branch chairman Philip Chai supported the government’s move to tarmac the Malindi-Sala Gate road, saying the project would revive tourism in Malindi and Watamu towns.

“We also expect the road to uplift domestic tourism as local tourists from Nairobi will take a shorter time to drive from Voi to Malindi rather the longer route to Mombasa,” he said.

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