Challenges Facing Road Sector in Kenya
Despite the growing demand for transport services, Kenya’s road sector is currently facing numerous challenges which include:
Poor Quality of Transport Services
The transport sector in Kenya is characterized by high costs for passengers and freight, weak public and private institutions, and low levels of investment.
Public transport is usually over-crowded and inefficient with unreliable service operations, long waiting times and poor safety and security standards.
Inappropriate Modal Split
Following the deterioration in the performance of railway transport, road transport has emerged as the main mode of transport in Kenya for both passengers and freight.
This distorted modal split whereby the road network carries more than its fare share of traffic, compared to railway traffic, despite the superior carrying capacity of railway transport for both passengers and goods, has resulted in high road maintenance costs due to a higher rate of road deterioration.
Lack of Inter-modal Integration:
Lack of harmony has been due to the fragmented institutional framework for the management of the transport sector.
Lack of Urban Transport Policy
Kenya has no urban transport policy yet. As such, there is no clear decision as to which modes of transport and facilities the urban areas should encourage or provide.
Transport facilities under public ownership and management generally have weak and ineffective structures. Lack of capacity and shortage of resources seriously undermines their capability for good corporate governance, sound decision making and efficient management.
Lack of Funds for Development and Maintenance
In nearly all transport modes, there is a serious lack of funds for development and maintenance.
Road safety management is fragmented across various institutions, therefore resulting in poor coordination which leads to high numbers of road accidents.
Currently, there are capacity challenges relating to institutions, technical know-how within the sub-sector, and contractors.
Axle Load Control
The mechanism for controlling axle load is weak, leading to damage to the roads.
Encroachment on road reserves and drainage way leaves interferes with the development and maintenance of roads.
Land acquisition for road construction
The cost of land is too high in comparison with the cost of the road construction.
Inadequate Legal Framework for Private Sector Participation
The legal framework for private sector participation in the roads subsector is inadequate. The provisions in the Kenya Roads Act, 2007 and the Public-Private Partnerships Regulations, 2009 are inadequate.
Roads Construction Plant and Equipment
The plant and equipment currently available for hire by contractors and roads agencies are inadequate, hence delays in road construction and maintenance.