MIXTURE: World Bank did not withdraw from James Gichuru-Rironi Road project over inflated costs

The National Treasury requested World Bank to cancel the project and channel the funds to other projects

James Gichuru to Rironi road project.
James Gichuru to Rironi road project.

An article published by the Kenyan Bulletin, an online publication, claiming that World Bank has withdrawn from funding James Gichuru — Rironi Road project is a MIXTURE.

According to the article, the World Bank ‘bolted out’ of the project because of the inflated price by the government.

While it is true that World Bank withdrew from the James Gichuru-Rironi road project, the withdrawal was due to a request by the National Treasury to cancel the project, and not because of inflated costs as alleged in the article.

According to the World Bank, the construction of the James Gichuru-Rironi road was to be implemented as part of the National Urban Transport Improvement Project (NUTIP). The project was cancelled in December 2018 upon request by the National Treasury.

While the World Bank had approved the James Gichuru-Rironi Road project in September 2012, the government opted to reallocate funds meant for this project to other more promising projects, which the World Bank has attributed to the slow pace of implementation.

It is standard practice for the government and the World Bank to review the performance of projects which can sometimes result in partial cancellations and restructurings as we respond to changing priorities and developments on the ground, Vera Rosauer, the World Bank’s Communication Officer for the Africa region, told PesaCheck via email.

According to the National Urban Transport Improvement Project implementation report, the delay in implementation of major contracts such as the James Gichuru — Rironi road project among others was caused by the change from a centralised system to a devolved system of government in Kenya, leading to gaps in financing, project design, and implementation of proposed activities that could not be accomodated.

The document further shows that the improvement of James Gichuru-Rironi road project was still in progress as at March 15, 2019, and has been listed under ongoing road projects by Kenya National Highways Authority(KeNHA) with progress at 18 percent.

PesaCheck has looked into the claim that World Bank bolted out from funding James Gichuru-Rironi Road project and finds it to be a MIXTURE.


This post is part of an ongoing series of PesaCheck fact-checks examining content marked as potential misinformation on Facebook and other social media platforms.

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This fact-check was written by PesaCheck researcher Diana Kendi was edited by PesaCheck Deputy Editor Ann Ngengere and was approved for publication by PesaCheck Managing Editor Eric Mugendi.