Garissa county plans to tarmac 2,000km of road in five years through donor funding.
Work has begun on some roads. The 134km Nono-Modogashe route is about 50 per cent done.
Governor Ali Korane on Thursday said the projects will ensure the region is accessible by road. He spoke in Kamuthe. Korane was accompanied by six engineers of a contracted Dutch firm.
He urged leaders to join hands to deliver on their promises to residents. Unity plays a role in improving people’s lives, Korane said.
“It should not matter which leader does which project. We all work for the same residents. We have to better their lives in whichever way possible,” he said.
In Ijara, the Hulugho-Garissa road and those linking the constituency to Malindi and Lamu are being repaired. They were washed away by floods. MP Sophia Abdi Noor launched the projects.
Noor said the region has lagged behind in infrastructural development and swift action must be taken to ensure it is at par with the rest of the country.
By 2013, Northeastern had only 10km of tarmacked road, she said.
In this financial year, the county has allocated about Sh4.3 billion of its Sh10.15 billion budget to development.
Noor said a better road network will open up the region for business and create jobs for its “many idle youths”.
The projects are good news to passengers and motorists who have grappled with travel nightmare during the rainy seasons. Some spend more than two weeks from Garissa to Mandera town.
Masalani businessman Abdi Mohamed yesterday praised the county for prioritising transport. It will improve movement of goods and people, and spur trade, he said.
“I have suffered and incurred huge losses because of poor roads. I can only hope and pray that the project becomes a success. I’ll be a very happy man,” the hardware owner said.
The national government is also tarmacking major roads across northern Kenya. It has focussed on link routes to Garissa, Wajir and Mandera.
The government jointly funds the project with Kuwait for Sh7.2 billion. It was launched in 2016.