Murkomen pushes for additional road maintenance cash

Wednesday, June 12th, 2024 07:09 | By
Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen. PHOTO/@kipmurkomen/X
Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen. PHOTO/@kipmurkomen/X

Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen says the country requires Sh3.99 trillion to maintain the road network in good standard nationwide.

Appearing before the National Assembly Finance Committee chaired by Molo MP Kuria Kimani, the CS asked for more funds from Parliament for road construction and maintenance. According to Murkomen, Sh315 billion is needed for road maintenance over the next five years, with recent flood damage requiring Sh37 billion for repairs.

“The cost of goods will go up when roads are not in good condition. We are requesting more funds to ensure roads are built and maintained, and we call on Parliament to support our proposals,” he urged MPs.

Murkomen explained that new roads will require periodic maintenance, with a countrywide survey showing that 25,410 kilometres are paved roads and 112,468 kilometres are earth roads, requiring considerable resources for maintenance.

The CS highlighted that the Roads Maintenance Levy was last reviewed eight years ago, resulting in a gap between maintenance needs and available resources, leading to public complaints about the government’s failure to tarmac various roads.

“Over 9,000 kilometres under the Kenya Rural Roads Authority have not been maintained due to lack of allocation, while tarmac roads have potholes since there is zero allocation for their repair,” said Murkomen.

He advocated for reducing excise duty on buses from 10 per cent to zero and implementing aviation policies to protect the sector by reinstating previous incentives.

“Kenya has committed to climate change, and we ask Parliament not to reverse these changes to help increase the number of electric vehicles from 4,000 to 100,000,” he said.

Eldas MP Adan Keynan pointed out the politicisation of road construction and sought assurance that regions needing good roads will benefit this time. He mentioned that his constituency has never seen a tarmac road since independence.

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