Kenya: World Bank Approves Sh81 Billion Loan for Isiolo-Mandera Road Corridor

The World Bank has approved a Sh81 billion loan to upgrade half of the 750-kilometre Isiolo-Mandera road and lay a fibre-optic cable in a major boost to the North Eastern region.

The lender said on Wednesday that it projects the International Development Association (IDA) financing will improve the movement of people and goods, digital connectivity and access to social services for over 3.2 million people living in the region.

“Through the new operation – the Horn of Africa Gateway Development Project (HoAGDP) – the World Bank will finance the upgrading of 365 kilometres of the 740-kilometre Isiolo-Mandera Regional Road Corridor and 30km of spur roads, while the upgrading of the remaining sections will be financed by other development partners,” the lender said in a statement.

It added that the HoAGDP will also finance laying of a fibre optic cable along the entire 740-kilometre transport corridor and trade facilitation measures such as border management systems and construction of border posts.

It will also provide basic socio-economic infrastructure for communities living along the corridor as well as emergency response measures in case of a disaster or catastrophe during the life of the project.

“The potential of Northeastern Kenya as a transit and regional trade facilitation zone is presently not fully exploited,” Mr Josphat Sasia, the lender’s Lead Transport Specialist and Task Team Leader said.

“This transformative project will integrate the region and enhance security, inclusion, and a sense of equity, which the communities living in this underserved region of Kenya have desired for a long time. Successful implementation of the project will require the support of the leadership and communities of the region.”