Construction of the Kibwezi-Mutomo-Kitui road. [Photo|KeNHA]The Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) embarked on an ambitious infrastructure project to upgrade Kibwezi – Kitui – Kabati – Migwani Road to bitumen standard in December 2016. Major works have been undertaken that include; Site clearance – 71.5 km, Topsoil stripping - 69km, Earthworks – 50km, Improved subgrade – 42.5km, Subbase – 19km, Basecourse – 6.5km, AC wearing course 0.4km, a total of 18 box culverts fitted, 61 pipe culverts fitted and construction of 66.5km of deviations to ease flow of traffic has been undertaken. The project road is situated in the Eastern region of Kenya, starting at the junction with A8 (Nairobi - Mombasa road) near Kibwezi town and runs in a northward direction via Ikutha, Mutomo, Kitui, Kabati and ends at Migwani.Once completed, the road will offer alternative route from the Port of Mombasa to the Lower, Upper Eastern Regions and Ethiopia hence decongesting the Nairobi – Mombasa Highway and improve the economic competitiveness of Counties served by this once the project is fully implemented to link Isiolo through the Meru – Maua Road.This road forms part of the larger Mombasa – Addis Ababa Transport Corridor that links the Mombasa – Nairobi Highway (A8) at Kibwezi and the Nairobi – Addis Ababa Highway (A2) at Isiolo. It is an alternative shorter route to Moyale and ultimately Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. The traffic to these areas from Mombasa will avoid going through Nairobi once the entire stretch to Isiolo via Mwingi and Mikinduri to join the Meru – Maua Road at Muriri is upgraded to bitumen standard. Specifically, upgrading of the road to bitumen standard once complete will facilitate faster movement of goods and services and unlock the economic potential of Makueni and Kitui, Counties. The road will boost transportation of agricultural produce and improve farming in Kitui County and Makueni Counties that is expected to more efficiently serve the surrounding towns. The road will also boost tourism in Tsavo East National Park and Kitui South Game Reserve; Mineral exploration of coal at Mui basin; limestone mining at Mutomo; and iron ore at Ikutha. The road project measures 192 kilometres and Messr Sinohydro Corporation Ltd shall implement 18 kilometres of Township Roads under Engineer Procure Construct (EPC) contract. Government of Kenya and China Exim Bank are jointly financing the project. The construction programme works is expected to be completed in the next 42 months. When complete, the Kibwezi - Kitui – Kabati – Migwani road will:Encourage development of critical infrastructure facilities in the regions traversed (power, water, telecommunications and social infrastructure) Facilitate Tourism through provision of reliable links to Mwingi National Reserve, Meru National Park, and Kora Game ReserveSupport the long term development and viability of the Mombasa – Isiolo - Moyale corridor, and Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia- Transport (LAPSSET)Result in reduction of travel time between Kibwezi and Migwani Boost trade between Mount Kenya Region, Lower Eastern and Coastal RegionsContribute to improved Food Security and distribution in Eastern Kenya region in generalStrengthening the connection between Kenya’s three main regional transport corridors namely: Northern Corridor (A8), the Kenya – Ethiopia Corridor (A2) and the Thika – Garissa – Liboi (A3)

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