Coast, Nairobi, Central take largest share of roads budget

Tuesday November 14 2017

Roads in Kenya

An unpaved road in Bura, Tana River. Lower Eastern and North Rift have the highest share of unpaved roads at 15 and 12 per cent respectively. PHOTO | ABDIMALIK ISMAIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By PATRICK LANG'AT
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Top 10 counties with the best access to paved roads were allocated 60 per cent of the road budget, while those in the bottom 10 had only 13 per cent, a report by the International Budget Partnership has shown.

This, the non-governmental organisation said, showed the unfair distribution of paved roads in a study that uses paved roads per square kilometre of land area, to measure access of roads.

“People living in Nairobi have the best access to paved roads with 3,309 people per kilometre while the bottom 10 counties have an average of 164,862 people per kilometre of paved road,” the IBPK said in its report.

The top 10 counties, the report said, have a kilometre of paved roads for every 8.3 kilometres square of land.

The bottom ten counties, on the other hand, have a kilometre of road for every 6,813.8 kilometres square against a national average of 146.5 kilometres square.

POOR ACCESS

“Based on this research, counties and regions with better road access (measures by paved roads) received a higher budgetary allocation compared to those with poor access, which does not appear equitable,” says Abraham Rugo, the Country Manager, International Budget Partnership, IBPK.

At regional level, Coast, Nairobi and Central took up 60 per cent of all budget allocations, the study said.

“While these three regions took up 60 percent of the total allocation, they only accounted for 23 per cent of unpaved roads,” the study said.

Lower Eastern and North Rift have the highest share of unpaved roads at 15 and 12 per cent respectively.

While 27 per cent of unpaved roads are in the two regions, they only received seven per cent of the road development budget allocations.

Coast and Central Rift regions have the same share of unpaved roads at 10 per cent each, but the allocation to the Coast region was eight times greater.

“75 percent of capital funds allocated to projects within specific counties were allocated to just 10 counties. Nairobi and Mombasa alone took up more than one third of the total spending. Nairobi took 22.6 percent while Mombasa was allocated 15.7 per cent,” the IBPK said in its analysis.

IBPK made an assessment of equity in the roads sector by comparing the distribution of road project financing in the national budget to the levels of access to roads across the country using World Bank data.