Kenya’s intention to commence exploitation of oil resources in Turkana County has been boosted through a loan from the World Bank amounting to $500 million (Sh50 billion) for the construction of a 298-kilometre road between Nakodok and Loichangamatak that will open up the area for economic activities.
The stretch of the road is part of the 601 kilometres between Lesseru in Eldoret and Nakodok that is being constructed under the East Africa Regional Transport, Trade and Development Facilitation Project which will see Kenya connected to southern Sudan.
The government will develop another 40 kilometre stretch from Loichangamak to Lokichar at a cost of $176million (Sh17.6 billion).
National Treasury cabinet secretary, Mr Henry Rotich said the loan has increased the total amount provided by the bank to $5.28billion (Sh528 billion) adding that the project is among anchor for realisation of Vision 2030 with objective of turning the country into a medium income level in the next 15 years.
“The EATTDF project supports Vision 2030, Kenya’s long term development which focuses on transforming the country into a middle income status through modern and efficient infrastructure. The project will improve the economy of the area and assist in enhancing security,” he said.
UPGRADING OF ROADS
The project will involve upgrading of roads, facilitation of regional trade through efficiency in the corridor through support of Kenya Revenue Authority to harmonise customs and border agency procedures which include designing one-stop-posts at Nakodok border and integrated management. The activities include facilitating National Road and Safety Authority to put in place road safety measures.
The project also includes enhancing internet connectivity, and supporting Information and Communications Technology Authority (ICTA) efforts to provide ICT infrastructure with fibre spurs and rings to be constructed to connect refugee camps, schools, hospitals and other strategic locations including pastoralist road side markets, export processing zones, rest stops and community service centres along the corridor.
Once completed, the road will ensure transport to Lodwar and Kakuma to Lokichogio is improved while the area will have ICT connectivity.
“This is the largest single amount provided by the World Bank in Kenya. We are talking of a very important road which will have great impact on trade with South Sudan while opening up marginalised areas for people who have suffered high level of poverty and resource deficit. It will also ensure the area is integrated with other parts of the country for trade and enable extraction of minerals and oil resources,” said World Bank Country Director, Ms Diari’etou Gaye.
She added that the project was approved by the bank’s board of executive in June while the construction of 400 kilometres of road in South Sudan from Juba to Nadapal connecting with Kenya at Nakodok was approved in May 2014.