Murkomen shares plan to dual Nairobi-Eldoret highway
The government is firming up plans to dual the Eldoret- Nairobi highway before extending the same to the border town of Malaba.
This move, Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen says, will help ease the movement of goods and services.
Murkomen further stressed the government is seeking investors to enable them to expand the 320km road, which ranks as among the, if not the busiest in the country.
The road links the Port of Mombasa to neighboring land-locked countries namely Uganda, South Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The single carriage road has in recent times witnessed snarl-ups and the expansion is expected to ease the movement of goods and services in the region.
“We have a challenge with the road between Eldoret and Nairobi as it cannot handle the high number of vehicles, lorries causing accidents and goods taking longer due to traffic. We are working hard to dual the road not only from Nairobi to Mau Summit but also Nairobi to Eldoret,” said Mr Murkomen.
The CS made the remarks during the Horticulture industry stakeholders forum in Eldoret town that brought together players on how to improve on the exports through Eldoret International Airport.
He also shared plans to expand the Eldoret International Airport to accommodate more flights and improve horticultural exports.
Mr Murkomen noted they are in the advanced stage of acquiring an additional 50 acres to put up more facilities and expand the airport to have more cold storage facilities and expand the runway by 4 kilometers to enable more planes to use the airport.
“Eldoret Airport is the second busiest airport in terms of cargo after the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. We plan to expand the runway to accommodate more heavy cargo planes for export markets,” said the CS.
Currently, the three cargo airlines that use the airport Astral Aviation, Fly Emirates, and Ethiopia Airliner return back empty for lack of enough raw materials. The runway can handle cargo planes with up to 55 metric tonnes but the expansion will enable the facility to handle more cargo flights.
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi stated the government was committed to sourcing markets for Kenyan agriculture produce in the global markets.
“This Sunday, we will flag off the first consignment of avocados to India. We will also engage the Isreal government on what we can export . . . previously we exported pineapples but up to now we have not been able to get enough quantities to export to Isreal and I want to appeal to farmers to upscale production to enhance income,” said the CS.
He also asked the Agricultural Food Authority (AFA) to step surveillance and enforcement to ensure all the agricultural produce meets the requirements for export markets.