Roads maintenance kitty up as board disburses Sh38bn for July-December

This was up from Sh29.17 billion disbursed same period 2022-23 financial year.

In Summary

•Of the total amount, Sh16.5 billion went to Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) for maintenance of major trunk roads–classes S, A and B.

•Sh16.47 billion disbursed by KRB went to the Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA)  for maintenance of national rural roads and Sh5.5 billion for national urban roads.

Thika superhihway.
Thika superhihway.
Image: FILE

Kenya Roads Board disbursed Sh38.8 billion towards roads maintenance in the country for the half-year July to December 2023 period, official data shows, with major highways and national rural roads taking the lion’s share.

This was up compared to the Sh29.17 billion disbursed to road agencies within the same period the previous year, an increase of Sh9.6 billion.

“The increase in funding will allow road agencies to better maintain roads across the country and increase the network coverage,” KRB director general Rashid Mohamed said in a statement on Friday.

Of the total amount, Sh16.5 billion went to Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) for maintenance of major trunk roads–classes S, A and B.

Class ‘S’  is a Highway that connects two or more cities and carries safely a large volume of traffic at the highest speed of operation.

Class ‘A’ roads are highways that forms a strategic route and corridor connecting international boundaries at identified immigration entry and exit points and international terminals such as international air or sea ports.

Those classified as ‘B’ are highways that forms an important national route linking national trading or economic hubs, county headquarters and other nationally important centers to each other and to the national capital or to Class A roads.

Sh16.47 billion disbursed by KRB went to the Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA) for maintenance of national rural roads.

A total of Sh5.5 billion went into national urban roads maintenance by the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA), while Sh363.4 million went to national park roads maintenance by Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS).

The funds by KRB consist of road maintenance levy and transit tolls, and they have been disbursed to the Road agencies for implementation of road projects in accordance with the Annual Public Roads Programme for financial year 2023/2024.

This financial year, the board through the road agencies will be maintaining 53,799 kilometres of road networks representing 54 per cent of the maintainable road network, Mohamed noted.

The board keeps track of performance trends in implementation of road maintenance programmes by road agencies and inculcates a culture of continuous improvement in the use of the fund.

KeNHA and KURA have had the leading performances in the past three financial years with scores of 84.32 per cent and 81.72 per cent in the financial year 2021-22, respectively.

KWS and KeRRA had scores of 77.69 per cent and 73.85 per cent, respectively.

The index acts as an instrument of peer review further acting as a catalyst for improvement amongst road agencies and their regional offices.

“Road Agencies posted improvements in road maintenance accountability in the last three financial years. The good ratings indicate, there is transparency, openness and accountability, including public participation in financial matters especially in drawing work plans by the respective road agencies,” Mohamed said.

There has been sustained absorption of road maintenance funds over the years, the director general affirmed.

“Road maintenance funds are used in a prudent and responsible way and full disclosure and fiscal reporting is clear. Procurement is largely fair, transparent, and competitive,” he said.

 As an indicator that roadworks undertaken meet the prescribed standards, specifications and best practices, an evaluation of the index showcases a commitment to transparency, accountability and achieving tangible outcomes in road maintenance.

By employing an accountability index, the board can objectively assess the performance and impact of road maintenance initiatives, the DG noted.

This index serves as a tool to uphold accountability, transparency and efficiency in the management of road maintenance programmes, ultimately contributing to the creation of a safer, more reliable and sustainable road networks.

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