, NAIROBI Kenya, Oct 21 – The Governors of Kajiado, Kiambu, Nairobi and Muranga counties on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding to pave way for the formation of a Nairobi Metropolitan Transport Authority.
The authority is meant to oversee the implementation of the mass rapid transit system within the city and its surroundings.
The authority is also set to recommend policies on pricing and investments, financing equipment and related traffic management systems. Development partners will also work through the authority consisting representatives of all stakeholders.
The major components of the project include the expansion and upgrading of highways, service and access roads from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport through Nairobi to Rironi on the Northern Corridor transport system.
Cabinet Secretary for Transport Michael Kamau said if implemented, it will be the lasting solution to the perennial congestion of the main roads in Nairobi.
“We should not politicise this project, it’s meant for the good of the country,” he appealed.
He said already development partners including the World Bank had promised to provide funds for four major corridors out of the five that are set to be improved.
Kajiado Governor David Nkedianye however said the plan needed to be reviewed saying it had sidelined his County that has seen massive growth in population due to its strategic position from Nairobi.
“A project of this magnitude needs initial consultation and they come out very clear on the issue of equity,” he stated. “In terms of growth, Nairobi is moving to the south at a very rapid rate,” he said as he attributed rapid growth of his county to its proximity to the capital city.
The project will be implemented by agencies working for the Ministries of Roads and Transport, including the Kenya National Highways Authority, the Kenya Urban Roads Authority and the Kenya Railways Corporation.
The World Bank and other development partners such as the African Development Bank, the European Union, Japan and China, are helping Kenya to modernise its transport system and to remove barriers to a more dynamic business climate in Kenya and the wider East African region.
Nairobi though having a poor road network is regarded as East Africa’s business hub but Kamau says this may not last for long if the current situation persists.