Posts Tagged ‘Devolution’

ReliEnvironmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) is a process carried before any infrastructure development to ascertain the real impact and benefits of the project on the social, environment and what will be the mitigations to be undertaken to reduce negative biodiversity impacts. One of the key successes of any ESIA is by ensuring all stakeholders associated with the project are involved so that nobody is left out. These projects may be associated with housing, roads, dams, buildings and roads among others.

Kenya is increasingly experiencing implementation of major projects many being funded by big multilateral agencies such as European Union, AfDB and World Bank for electrification, geothermal and road constructions. One of the major requirements apart from project proposal is the institution of Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for any project together with Social and Environmental Management Plan (SEMP). But how many people take intense look at both ESIA and especially SEMP report and monitor if the recommendations stated in these documents are being carried out?

The assumption is that the mitigation of negative impacts as stated in the recommendations will be adhered to by the engineers, government agencies, and community or project affecting persons who all have a major role in ensuring the project is implemented according to the original plans.

At what stage do we have ESIA National Environmental Management Authority making follow up after any projects ends and can the ESIA and SEMP reports still be used beyond the project timeline? Once the project starts, it is expected that the contractor will provide environmental management plan and possibly share it with the community and relevant authorities. Walking across major roads in Nairobi, it is common to notice open man holes and unfinished projects with no contractor on side which continuously poses a great danger to motorists and pedestrians. Look at Juja Road, Nairobi where a contractor left the site more than 10 years ago and unfinished open drainages, regular cabling projects and lack of pedestrians walking paths.

Lesson for Outering Road: On 31st May 2015, Citizen TV 9.00 pm news, aired item from of members of the public complaining about dangers posed by the open drainages and comments from victims along Thika Superhighway apart from regular road accidents. This clearly shows that once the project is finished then ESIA and SEMP becomes a forgotten document. Regular negative news from the much praised Thika Superhighway is not encouraging. The number of road accident especially by the pedestrian is quite high despite construction of footbridges together will less efforts to clear open air traders who have encroached on the pedestrian and bicycle paths is not encouraging.
The only visible ‘SEMP visible along Thika Superhighway is regular road maintenance most of it partly attributed by frequent road accidents. As the government and AfDB embarks on upgrading of Outering Road, it will be important for stakeholders to be informed and engaged in ensuring that Social and Environmental Management Plan is fully respected and monitored for a successfully projects.

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loanThe Outering Road Upgrade loan takes effect as from March 2014 and Kenya will finish repayment by 2046…Read the details below;

The National Treasury signed a kshs.9.8 billion concessionary loans towards the construction of Outering Ring Road in Nairobi City County. The project, whose construction is set to start in April, 2014 is expected to cost approximately Kshs. 10.5 billion with African Development Bank (AfDB) contributing 88.5% loan and partly a grant while Kenya Government will finance 11.5% of the total cost. Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) advertised for bids for the project and will be opened early February, 2014.

Speaking during the signing ceremony, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Mr. Henry Rotich asked the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure to ensure the project is undertaken within the approved time schedule. “I urge you to ensure it is done in time as time is of essence for the public to enjoy the benefits of the project”, he said.

Speaking during the occasion, Mr. Gabriel Negatu, the Banks Regional Director for the Eastern Africa Regional Resource Centre said, ‘the project will benefit an estimated population of at least 2.2million people who represent 70% of the Nairobi City County population and will reduce travel time to commuters, improve air quality, property values, improve business environment and social welfare” .

Nairobi Governor, Dr. Evans Kidero praised the Bank for the support saying eastlands is receiving a major project after a long time and his Government plans to transfer Wakulima market to this part of the City.

Transport and Infrastructure Principal Secretary, Eng. John Mosonik said, “The objective of the Project is to improve the existing Outer Ring Road in the city of Nairobi into a dual carriageway in a bid to expand its Traffic carrying capacity to address congestion, reduce carbon emissions and to provide social infrastructure such as market stalls for the informal traders (most of whom are women) and Wellness centres to address HIV/AIDS and related illnesses.”

The 13km dual carriageway starts from Ruaraka /Thika Road Junction to Taj Mall, Eastern Bypass in Embakasi. The scope of the project involves daulling(two lanes in each direction), service Roads, 10 footbridges, 9metre Bus Rapid Transit(BRT) to be constructed at a later date, Non-Motorized Traffic and six grade separated junctions. The introduction of footpaths and cycle tracks on either side of the roads is an added value as Government moves to encourage members of the public to be environment conscious and use safe tracks while footing or cycling to and from City Centre.

The design provides ten footbridges and four subways for the safety of pedestrians across the highway. It also provides for underground services for cables and water lines and a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor to be constructed at a later stage. During the construction deviation roads of about 12km will be upgraded for use by the public and include; Thika Superhighway – Mathare North – Juja road; Mtarakwa – Komarock Road; Embakasi Barracks – Kangundo Road and Eastern Bypass-Outer Ring Road.

The Project is set to also improve social and environmental projects along the road corridor with the planting of 4,500 seedlings and provision of welfare facilities. Under the project, at least 500 youths (60% to be women) in three years shall be selected to be trained as artisans in local technical training institutions to enhance their skills to enable them secure gainful employment thereafter. Source: http://www.kura.go.ke/index.php/media/news-a-events/91-loan-agreement-for-the-construction-of-nairobi-outer-ring-road-signed-.html