Background: Kenya’s long term development strategy ‘Vision 2030’ aims to close the country’s infrastructure deficit by continued expansion of physical infrastructure as an enabler for sustained economic growth, development, and poverty reduction. The Isebania-Kisii-Ahero Road forms part of the Sirari Corridor, a major trade and transit route linking Tanzania, Kenya, and South Sudan. It serves as the main trade route between Mwanza port (Tanzania), Kisumu port (Kenya), and onward to Juba (South-Sudan). The poor condition of the roadway is hindering cross border trade and undermining the development of the fishing industry and agro-businesses in the larger Lake Victoria basin by limiting access to markets and imposing high transportation and logistics costs.
Project Objective: The project development objectives are twofold: (i) to improve regional transport connectivity and facilitate cross-border trade, and (ii) to enhance social inclusion by improving accessibility and mobility within the Lake Victoria basin by upgrading feeder roads connecting the main road with farmlands, markets, and social centres.
Project Description: The project comprises: rehabilitation of Isebania-Kisii-Ahero road (172km) and upgrading of feeder roads (77km) connected to the main roadway; assessment of domestic construction industry capacity; analysis of transport infrastructure gap in the country; and Technical Assistance to update Road design Manuals, establishment of post-crash care and injury recovery centre, setting up of road crash database, and empowerment of small-to-medium women and youth contractors through targeted training to improve capacity for road maintenance. Ancillary works include: community water supply; roadside markets to improve local business environment and road safety.
Project Cost and Financing: The Project is estimated to cost USD 280.26 million, and is co-financed by the Bank Group (81.4%), EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund (4%), and Government of Kenya (14.6%). The total project construction period is 3 years (2016–2019).
Strategic Alignment: The project is consistent with the Medium Term Plan (MTP 2013-2017) of Kenya’s development strategy as well as the country’s Integrated National Transport Policy. The project is also aligned to the Bank’s Ten Year Strategy (TYS) and supports the High Fives (Hi-5s) by focusing on enhancing regional integration, feeding Africa through improved infrastructure connectivity to facilitate inter-regional food transfers from surplus regions to food deficit areas, and improving standard of living for the majority rural poor. The project design also takes cognisance of EAC 4th Development Strategy (2011-2016) on “deepening and accelerating integration”; and Bank’s Regional Integration Policy and Strategy (RIPS), 2014-2023, emphasizing regional infrastructure development, trade and industrialization.
Beneficiaries: Project beneficiaries include two million people directly served by the main road and associated feeder roads network, poised to benefit from reduced transportation and logistics costs, expanded market size, and improved access to social services. Regional beneficiaries include farmers, manufacturers and traders benefiting from reduced transport costs. Current Implementation Progress: The procurement process for civil works components are nearing completion and works are expected to start in early November 2016.
The IG was approved in December 2015. The implementation of the project components to be covered under the financing is expected to start in Q4 2016. Procurement of a few components have kicked off such as supply of ambulances and consultancy services for assessing the capacity of domestic construction industry in Kenya.