Movement around the port of Mombasa will improve after the opening of two major roads connecting the port to the Northern Corridor transport route.
The streets Nyerere-Mbaraki and Kipevu are major arteries to and from the port.
The Nyerere-Mbaraki road was funded by the UK government, the Danish International Development Agency (Danida) and Mombasa County.
Kipevu Road was funded by the Kenya Ports Authority and the UK Government through TradeMark East Africa (TMEA).
On Tuesday, UK High Commissioner Jane Marriott met with Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, Chief Secretary of the East African Community, Kevit Desai, and KPA Executive Director John Mwangemi to open the street they said they were the Will boost business around the port.
The Sh2.04 billion road will reduce the time it takes a driver through Gate 18/20 from six days to 30 minutes.
Once completed, the Nyerere-Mbaraki road, which cost 403 million Swiss francs, will reduce the transit time for trucks to the port from eight hours to less than four hours.
The two roads are expected to improve connectivity, thereby improving the efficiency and seamless transport of cargo from the port through the northern corridor.
Mr Mwangemi said the expanded Kipevu Street will be a big boost for the port as it has been widened to provide a seamless connection and facilitate the flow of traffic in and out of the port.
“KPA is committed to working with all stakeholders, industry players and partners on the port’s modernization and capacity expansion projects,” he said.
He said the project aimed to reduce the pressure from truck queues in shipyards and reduce the average time it takes for cargo to move through the port, which would boost business.
Ms. Marriott reassured Kenya of the UK Government’s commitment to boost trade across the port and across the country.
She said the UK has been supporting vital physical infrastructure and the provision of services in and around the port since 2011.
“The Mbaraki Strait is transformative. It will change lives, rejuvenate the economy and create jobs, ”said Ms. Marriot.
The projects will not only increase trade opportunities in Kenya and abroad, but will also help Kenyan firms take advantage of the UK-Kenyan economic partnership agreement.
“We are discussing how we can improve business opportunities and increase efficiency in Mombasa,” said Governor Joho.
“As a port city, our greatest achievement in the port business is efficiency and lead times. We want companies to work around the clock, which creates jobs.”
Frank Matsaert, TMEA’s Chief Executive Officer, reassured Kenya of its commitment to improving the trading environment.
By the end of 2020, TMEA had Sh 10 billion in the port. invested to support infrastructure development, the introduction of advanced systems and security reforms to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The port of Mombasa is the gateway to East Africa and connects Kenya with the member states of the East African Community.
The Shimanzi and Mbaraki areas are home to oil terminals and clinker and grain handling facilities that carry heavy trucks, creating traffic jams and making traffic in and out of the area to the north corridor, north coast, and south coast difficult.
Kenya Transporters Association (KTA) Northern Corridor director David Obiero praised the commissioning of Kipevu Road and said it would ease traffic pressure on trucks leaving Mombasa port via Changamwe Cross.
“It’s the preferred route for truckers and is a big boost. Gate 18 was the main exit gate for trucks leaving the port for cargo to use the cargo weight before reaching the main scale from Mariakani, “said Mr Obiero.