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interests in infrastructure

  • Leader
    March 17, 2019
    Fans of the game can’t get enough of it. And if you’re a
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    by Ejidiah Wangui

    NAIROBI, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- Before the Kenyan government mooted plans to
    expand Thika Road in 2009, commuters would waste hours on traffic gridlock.

    Many commuters wished for the day the road would be traffic jam-free so that
    they would cut down on time and fuel.

    Since completion of the 50km highway that links Nairobi and the satellite
    town of Thika, residents living along the road, which has since acquired the
    name of Thika Super Highway, have reported changed fortunes.

    Dominic Ombura, a poultry farmer who left his native land in Kisii in western
    Kenya for greener pastures, said he has since dropped thoughts of abandoning his
    business because of the snarl-ups that were a common feature along the old road.

    "The highway has been a blessing to me because I deal with perishable
    commodities like poultry meat that need to be delivered speedily lest they go
    bad," Ombura said.

    Most of Ombura's clients are in Nairobi, and the hustle of going through
    traffic jam daily carrying meat and eggs is not difficult to imagine.

    "There's this day that I'll never forget, there was an accident near Utalii
    College which paralysed activity on the road for 10 hours, we were trapped in
    the jam from 5 a.m. until late in the evening," he recalled.

    "One of my major clients is a fast food joint in the Central Business
    District and that day I was delivering over 100 chicken to them. You can imagine
    the loss I incurred since they were forced to buy from someone else," he added.

    Josephine Wambugu said the infamous traffic snarl-ups that existed before
    completion of the highway almost made her lose her job with a bank based in

    "There were days I would report to work at 11 a.m. instead of the stipulated
    time of 8 a.m. even if I left my house at 4 a.m.," she said.

    Wambugu was forced to relocate and rent a house near the city in order to
    keep her job, but upon completion of the highway, she moved back to Thika.

    "Unlike before, I spend less than 20 minutes from my house to the office. The
    super highway is an idea that saved many people," she told Xinhua.

    The involvement of the Chinese in mega infrastructure projects in Kenya has
    been on the increase. The Thika super highway was constructed by Chinese firms
    SinoHydro Corporation, China Wu Yi and Sinopec Shengli Oilfield.

    Thika super-highway was one of the major projects that showcased the close
    China-Kenya relationship, which has continued to grow on the back of converging
    interests in infrastructure, innovation and natural resources.

    Chinese companies are preferred by the Kenyan government because of their
    competitive pricing, workmanship and their ability to complete the projects
    according to schedule or even ahead of time.

    Apartment buildings have also mushroomed along the highway as people take
    advantage of the changed
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