Showing posts from October, 2012

Is Nairobi's double decker road sustainable?

The elevated uhuru Highway  THE GOVERNMENT OF KENYA plans to construct a 12Km over-pass over Uhuru Highway at a cost of US$200m. The World Bank funded project, will also include building by-passes in Kisumu city and Meru town.  The two by passes will cost an estimated US$60 million. Therefore the entire project will cost US$260 million of which the Kenya government must raise 20 per cent or US$52 million. Other components of the project include construction of an additional Lane from Nairobi West lands suburb to Rironi in Kiambu County.  It will also include service roads. The project is variously justified as a solution to congestion on the Northern corridor and as a panacea to slow movement of traffic between JKIA and its customers to the West of Nairobi.  And critics have raised the red flag wondering if the road is necessary now or in the next 15 to 20 years.  The critics have a point as there are other on-going transport infrastructure developments in the city th

Kenya’s housing sector to remain vibrant till 2030 says govt.

Impression of proposed Tatu City THE KENYAN HOUSING MARKET IS booming. And it will remain vibrant until 2030 when supply equal demand official estimates show. Consequently, the sector appears to shrug off economic shocks such high interest rates. Demand for credit by the sector is up while consumption of Cement, another measure of the health of the sector, is also up.  According to the central Bank of Kenya, credit to the sector in the year to June 2012, rose by US$385 million, second only to trade. And more is yet to come, say developers. What drives the growth? Several factors combined.  Among these is the policy shift and legal reforms in the housing sector; high unmet and growing demand, economic growth in Kenya, the growth of the middle class, increased investment by Kenyans in the diaspora, construction of major roads in the country and foreign investment in the property market.  Years of neglect and cirrhotic economic growth during the Moi era (1978-2002) resul

Power plant lights up Uganda’s future

An aerial view of Bujagali THE CONTROVERSIAL Bujagali hydropower station in Uganda has been commissioned and is now on the grid. It loads an additional 250 MW on the national grid effectively doubling the power generation capacity in the country.  This development is a sigh of relief for Ugandans in several ways:  it eliminates expensive thermal power; It releases some US$9.5 million in electricity subsidies to the exchequer;  it eliminates load shedding and brightens prospects for economic growth.  For Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni, who launched the dam, it was a vindication that tenacity pays. He had the last laugh over opposition to the project! The project Uganda was dogged by controversy, some of it crass.  Mooted in 1990s, Bujagali immediately faced all sorts of opposition from donors and their cohorts in the civil society sector-that at a time when the country experienced 12 hour loading shedding due to drought.  Activists and foreign donors argued th

Kenya to upgrade Railway Network for US$2.4 bn

KR Infrastructure to be upgraded THE KENYA  RAILWAYS CORP. is to upgrade its 100 plus year-old narrow gauge rail network, replacing it with a modern standard gauge system. The ground breaking ceremony for the five-year project will be conducted before the end of the year, said the chairman of the Vision 2030 delivery Secretariat, Dr. James Mwangi. Dr. Mwangi is also the Chief executive of Equity Bank The project involves building a 1300KM long Standard Gauge railway line from the Port city of Mombasa to Malaba border on the border with Uganda,. It will also have a branch to Kisumu city on the shores of Lake Victoria. The Uganda Railway line build in the last century by the colonial administration is in the Northern Transport Corridor in eastern Africa which serves several land-locked countries in the region. These are: Uganda, D R Congo, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan. In some instances, it also serves northern Tanzania and Somalia. However, the ancient railway network

Construction of Tanzania’s” bridge over the sea” begins

A prototype of the entire project on Kigamboni side CONSTRUCTION OF THE long awaited Kigamboni Bridge in Dar-es-salaam, Tanzania, has begun. Tanzania’s President, Jakaya Kikwete, laid the foundation stone two weeks ago, signaling the beginning of construction works.  The US$138 Million toll-road will be completed in 36 months. The works include the construction of a 680M long-four lane - bridge across the Indian Ocean, 2.5 Km of six lanes highway, pedestrian paths and a toll plaza The bridge will be linked to Dar city by a 1.0 KM six lane highway while to Kigamboni; it shall be linked by a 1.5 KM six lane road. In total the works include the bridge and 2.5 KM of roads, all totaling 3.2 KM.  According to a note from Tanzania’s Ministry of Works, the bridge is a joint venture between the Government of Tanzania and NSSF.  NSSF will own 60 per cent stake while GOT owns the rest.  The same note says that on completion its management will be concessioned for 25 years.  T