Chinese firm to start work on Sh4.5bn Kitale-Uganda road

CSCEC general manager Zhang Ruiping and KeNHA director general Peter Mundinia
CSCEC Eastern African Region general manager Zhang Ruiping (right) and KeNHA director general Peter Mundinia sign a deal for the upgrade of the Kitale-Suam road in Nairobi on August 17.
China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) has signed a contract with Kenya to build a 45-kilometre road that links Kitale to the Uganda border town of Suam.

The signing of the Sh4.5 billion deal between CSCEC and the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) paves the way for the launch of the project in October.

CSCEC is the world’s third largest construction firm and the 20th largest contractor in terms of overseas sales.

Under the deal, the Chinese firm will build a new road between Kitale and Suam that will replace the existing earthen way, which is impassable during rainy seasons – hitting cross border trade.

“The project starts at Kitale town at the junction of the Kisumu-Kakamega-Kigali-Lodwar-Nadapul road and runs northwards through the trading centre of Endebes and ends at Suam, the national boundary with Uganda.

“This road will greatly boost cross border trade between Kenya and other East African Community (EAC) member countries,” KeNHA director general Peter Mundinia said.

Mr Mundinia added that the formation of the new road will also include construction of new river bridges with reinforced concrete and footbridges in Kitale town.

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The project will also involve construction of a dual carriage way through Kitale town up to Matisi shopping centre and the erection of access roads and provision of roadside facilities, such as drainage works, street lighting and market stalls.

The Kitale-Suam road will join a 73-km road that is being built on the Ugandan side from Kipchorwa town to the Suam Bridge, which forms the boundary of Kenya and Uganda.

The new road is a crucial cross-border carriageway, moving fuel, maize seeds, and fertiliser from Kenya to Uganda, which in turn supplies Kenya with products such as banana and sugar.

Kenya has recently embarked on projects aimed at opening up the northern corridor to facilitate trade within the region.

In March, the government and the World Bank signed a Sh3.2 billion deal for the upgrade of a road running from Loichangamatak to Lodwar, Nadapal, and Nakodok to make it traversable during rainy seasons.

On completion, the new road will become key link along the Biharambo–Mwanza- Musoma-Sirari-Isebania-Kitale–Lodwar –Lokichogio-Nakodok-Juba transport corridor of the EAC.