Construction of the Sh90 billion road liking Eldoret and South Sudanâ€™s capital Juba is expected to begin early next year, giving a boost to trade between the two countries.
The 930km Juba- Eldoret Road corridor is expected to significantly reduce the cost of transporting cargo from the port of Mombasa to the landlocked country.
Speaking on Tuesday during a donorâ€™s consultative meeting, Finance Permanent Secretary Joseph Kinyua said construction of the corridor could begin as early as next year when funds are secured.
â€œWe are going to mobilise the international community to put together the massive resources needed for this project,â€ said Mr Kinyua.
Roads minister Franklin Bett said the first 340km section from Juba to Nadapal at the Kenya-South Sudan border will cost Sh36.4 billion at todayâ€™s market rate.
The second 590km stretch from Nadapal to Eldoret is estimated to cost Sh51.3 billion. Mr Bett said the two governments have commissioned three consultants who are carrying out designs of the single carriage road.
â€œAs soon as they are done in May, as is scheculed, we will use the report to secure funds from the international donor community,â€ said the minister.
The World Bank country director in South Sudan, Ms Bella Bird, said the road would be instrumental in encouraging a multi-faceted development of the landlocked country that has little by way of road infrastructure.
â€œThis corridor is expected to enhance economic growth, especially agriculture, of the landlocked nation,â€ said Ms Bird.
The road is part of the larger East African Community corridor projects and has been marked as a high priority trans-national project.
At its completion, it is estimated that it will handle up to 90 per cent of cargo traffic on the northern corridor.
Mr Bett said together with the LAPPSET corridor, the Eldoret-Juba road will greatly ease transport cost, which currently stands at Sh368 per kilometre on the northern corridor.
â€œIt costs more to transport a 20-foot container from Mombasa to Kampala (600 miles) than from China to Mombasa (6,000 miles)â€ emphasised the minister.
He also noted that the road will serve to revive stalled projects like fishing in the Turkana region, which has stalled due to poor infrastructure.
â€œIt is also timely as the region is an upcoming economic hub of the country, having been selected for construction of a resort city under the Vision 2030 blueprint,â€ he observed.
Before the road construction work is commissioned, the two countries have their work cut out in trying to ensure that a favourable regulatory framework is in place to enable free flow of goods into the region.
According to South Sudan Roads minister Gier Chuang Aluong, the nation lacks a strong legal framework to regulate, among others, the axle load permissible, customs procedures and the transit documentation required.-Nation