Malindi Town is set for a major facelift after the World Bank granted the Kilifi County Government Ksh 233 million to carry out major road, drainage and solid waste projects in the town.
The projects, which the international lender is funding under the Kenya Urban Support Programme, include the tarmacking of part of Mtangani RNJ HUKLoad that leads to the Malindi Maximum Prison, the expansion of Malindi Town’s drainage system as well as the establishment of a solid waste recycling plant in Casuarina area.
A contractor has already started building the 800 metres Mtangani road which is being improved to bitumen standards.
The road stretches from the Absa (formally Barclays) Bank junction to Pearl (Paradise) Hotel where it will join the already constructed Slaughter House Road.
The engineer supervising the works, Hatimy Nurein, says the section of the road will cost Ksh 67 million and will entail the construction of two cross culverts 900 millimetres and 600 millimetres respectively as well as four vertical drains to take care of the drainage problems along the stretch.
Nurein told journalists at the construction site that although the Bill of Quantities had given the contractor six months to complete the works, the contractor had indicated he would complete the job within three months.
Malindi Town Manager Silas Ngundo said the project would be a major breakthrough to motorists and the business community along the road as it will solve a perennial problem of flooding that had affected businesses.
The business community, led by the chairman of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI), Kilifi County, Majid Swaleh, welcomed the project but raised concerns over the quality of the roads being constructed given that the stretch is prone to flooding.
He thanked the government for fast-tracking the project saying it would ease movement and open up access to institutions and hotels.
Swaleh, however, called for more transparency in implementing projects saying the county administration should come clean on why it decided to build a tarmac road instead of using cabro blocks as earlier indicated.
“We were initially told that the road would be built using cabro blocks, which are more durable, but now we are told it will be built using bitumen. This matter must be clarified,” he said.
For Peter Njuno, the proprietor of Premier Guest House and Premier Restaurant (both situated along the stretch), the road will be a game-changer, not only for his businesses but also for other establishments, including the Kenya Red Cross-owned Pearl (formally Paradise Hotel).
“This is something that we have been asking for for a long time and I would say it was long overdue,” he said.