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No let up for axle load limit

NAIVASHA, October 18 – President Mwai Kibaki has reaffirmed a government directive barring vehicles with four axle loads from Kenyan roads despite resistance from transporters.

Speaking in Naivasha town when he officially opened the Sh7.8 billion Maai Mahiu-Naivasha-Lanet road, President Kibaki warned that anyone found flouting the set load limit would be dealt with according to the law.

“We are making every effort to improve the country’s roads which suffered neglect in the past, and we will not allow overloaded lorries to destroy them,” said the President.

A government decree last month banning overloaded lorries from the roads has been met with resistance from transporters, who said the law should have been implemented progressively. However the Kibaki administration has stood firm in its decision and officers at various check points across the country have been enforcing the ban.

The President on Saturday said that the completion of the 96-kilometre road jointly funded by the Government and the European Union (EU) underscored his administration’s commitment to rebuild and rehabilitate the roads infrastructure.

“My government is paying particular attention to the main trunk roads which form the main transport and commercial links with neighbouring countries.”

Highlighting that the transport sector plays a very crucial role in facilitating trade and investment both at the national and regional level, the Head of State said his Government would upgrade the country’s main road network to bitumen standards, while roads in rural areas would be maintained at all-weather standards.

“This improvement will be accelerated through enhanced allocation of funding to the roads sector within the next five years,” the President intimated.

He thanked the country’s development partners, especially the EU, who have over the years supported various projects in the country. The EU provided Sh5 billion on a grant basis while the Government contributed Sh2.8 billion towards the construction of the road he opened on Saturday.

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“Other projects include the rehabilitation of the 130-kilometre Sultan Hamud-Mtito Andei section, detailed design of Kabete­Limuru, Timboroa-Eldoret and Eldoret-Malaba sections of the northern corridor, as well as support towards the development of rural roads,” said President Kibaki.

The Head of State has in the meantime directed traffic enforcement agencies to take their responsibilities seriously and ensure road safety rules are adhered to, to protect lives.

“Indeed, it is a matter of great concern to me that we continue to receive reports of serious traffic accidents that continue to claim many lives, largely due to the recklessness of some of the drivers.”

He however called on motorists and especially the drivers of public service vehicles to exercise caution and observe traffic regulations at all times.

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