The Sh17.5 billion dual carriageway road project has suffered a major blow after the High Court granted an injunction stopping the government from acquiring land from the Nairobi National Park.
Friends of the Nairobi National Park (FoNNP) had earlier successfully petitioned the National Environmental Tribunal to stop the government from commencing construction works on the areas in dispute.
The lobby group argued that construction of the road that allegedly passes through the national park would set a dangerous precedent – putting all national parks at risk of development.
The Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) has, however, assured Nairobi residents that the section between Kibera and Dagoretti Road will be opened to motorists by July and the one between Dagoretti and Kikuyu by end of the year.
“As soon as the pending issues are resolved by the authorities, we shall be in a position to execute some of the remaining phases of the project and still meet the scheduled delivery time,” said Shu Yilli, the project leader.
The 30km Southern Bypass, which was officially launched by President Mwai Kibaki in 2012, is aimed to link heavy traffic flow on the Mombasa Road near the Ole Sereni Hotel running along the Nairobi National Park fence across Langata Road into Kikuyu town to join the Nairobi-Nakuru highway at Rironi near Limuru.
FoNNP is opposed to the construction of the section between Ole Sereni Hotel on Mombasa road and the Carnivore Hotel on Langata road, saying the road will eat into the national park’s land.
The Nairobi Southern Bypass, which is being built by China is financed by the Kenyan and Chinese governments.