The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has approved $253 million of loans to the Governments of Kenya ($147.3 million) and Uganda ($105.7 million) for the upgrading of a 118km road section connecting the two countries as well as the construction of the a 32km Eldoret town bypass in Kenya.
Once completed in 2021, the project will contribute to improving the living standards of the 1.4 million people in the project zone of influence, according to Amadou Oumarou, Director of the Infrastructure, Cities and Urban Development Department of the Bank.
The loans will cover 89% and 88% of the Uganda and Kenya project costs respectively.
For the loan to be effective, Uganda will contribute 11% while Kenya will contribute 12% of their respective budgets to the project cost.
The upgrading of the 118km road connecting Kapchorwa in Uganda to Kitale in Kenya will provide an all-weather access for citizens, farmers and traders. The project also includes a construction of a One Stop Border Post in Suamu to facilitate trade between the two countries, travelers and transport operators.
The upgrading of the road will reduce the travel time in Uganda from Kapchorwa to Suam from four to one-and-a-half hours and in Kenya from Suam to Kitale from one-and-a-half hours to 45 minutes, according to the statement.
"The project area is very fertile and has high agricultural potential and the upgrading of the road from gravel to bitumen standard will facilitate the supply of farm inputs and evacuation of produce to major market centers," says Oumarou.
The construction of the Eldoret bypass will reduce traffic congestion in Eldoret town, by avoiding crossing of the city center. Thus, the average speed will increase from 26km/hr in the existing road to 42km/hr using the Eldoret Bypass.
At the end of the project, there will be improved accessibility to traders and transporters using the border and people living in the project area with reductions in travel time, transport cost, increased mobility, and improved accessibility to economic and social facilities, among others.