US$10bn needed for maintenance of Kenyan roads over the next five years

23 December 2019

The Kenyan government has revealed that it requires over US$10bn over the next half-decade for the maintenance of its roads and to address unreliable access which is negatively affecting economic growth. The road inventory and condition report by the Kenya Roads Board (KRB) shows that 38 per cent of the classified road networks are in poor conditions or deteriorated. The poor state of the roads has been linked to a backlog of maintenance due to the lack of a structured road repairs plan. The Kenya Roads Board (KRB) has stated that the huge sums are needed to bring the affected roads to a manageable level.

Estimates under the Desired Road Condition Mix Budget Scenario shows that total financial expenditure of US$10 billion will be required over the next five years to fully cover the backlog road maintenance and development – as given by a report in 2018 by the KRB.

Kenyan Road Survey

At the moment, 62 per cent of 100,490Km of roads in the country are in a maintainable state. Kenya is grappling with floods that have cut off roads, severely affecting the flow of traffic ahead of the holiday season. Another survey done between August 2016 and November 2018 showed that the general network condition of Kenyan roads has improved significantly. The percentage of roads in good condition has improved to 56 per cent in 2018 from 44 per cent in 2009. The country’s road network increased from 160,886kkm in 2009 to approximately 246,757km, an improvement that has been linked to better funding and administration of the road network maintenance. At 70 per cent average road access, Kenya currently ranks among the best in Africa and within the top 100 worldwide. However, the country has only paved 11 per cent of this road network and much of its unpaved network consists of 57 per cent of earth roads. Kenya, much like other countries in the world, largely depends on its road network for transportation of passengers, goods and services. Lack of good roads has been linked to the marginalisation of some parts of Kenya.

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