The Frontier Counties Development Council welcomed the signing of deal between the National Government and 4 of our member counties and Meru. This is after the World Bank advanced the government $ 10 million to prepare the engineering designs and bidding documents for the tarmacking of 365km Isiolo-Wajir-Mandera road.
The five counties — Meru, Isiolo, Wajir, Garissa and Mandera — signed a memorandum of understanding on waiver of construction materials with the Roads Ministry.
The money is part of more than Ksh 51 billion earmarked by the World Bank to finance a series of projects under the North Eastern Transport Improvement Projects (NETIP).
The documentation for the project has been completed and tendering expected within the next six months. Construction work is expected to start in the next 12 months, with the main implementation agencies being the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) and the Information and Communication Technology Authority.
The project will involve the upgrading of part of the 190km Isiolo-Modogashe road and the 175km Wajir-Elwak road.
The project, hailed as the biggest in the North Eastern region since independence, will also involve laying out a 748km fibre optic cable between Isiolo and Mandera to improve internet connectivity.
The deal was signed by governors Ali Korane (Garissa), Mohamed Abdi Mohamud (Wajir), Mohamud Ali (Marsabit) and Ali Roba (Mandera).
The Frontier Counties Development Council (FCDC) chairman H.E Capt. Ali Roba, who is also the Mandera governor, referred to the project as the much-needed lifeline for the North Eastern region.
“This is a very emotional project as explained by my fellow governors who acknowledge the impact this road will have on our socioeconomic status,”H.E Capt. Ali Ibrahim Roba, FCDC Chair
Wajir Governor Mohammed Abdi said the project would open up the region and put an end to perennial insecurity largely fueled by poor road infrastructure.
The region has been grappling with attacks spearheaded by Al Shabaab militiamen that take advantage of poor transport and communication infrastructure to stage daring raids and disappear in the sprawling terrain.
The governors said they would involve local communities to create awareness on the project, adding that its completion would promote trade and investments between the counties.
“This project will be a landmark in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s regime in terms of development since he was responsible for initiating the collaboration between the Government and the World Bank,” said Capt. Roba.
The World Bank has said it is committed to working with the national and county governments to actualise the project.
The bank also promised to put in place environmental and social safeguards highlighted by KeNHA.