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Africa Focus: Chinese-built roads ease travels in Kenya



2016-01-18
CHINADAILY







A 250 km travel during Christmas holidays to his home village on poor roads used to be a headache for James Muriuki, who works in the Kenyan capital Nairobi.
Thanks to the Thika Superhighway completed by Chinese three years ago, travels have become much more comfortable.
The 50 km road is Kenya's first superhighway and one of the most modern pieces of road infrastructure in East and Central Africa.
The highway is seen as strategic to Kenya's economy as it connects Nairobi to the fertile central highlands.
Ever since the opening of the highway, people like Muriuki could travel to their hometowns with ease.
"It now takes three hours by road to arrive at my home village compared to the five hours previously," he told Xinhua.
Richard Weru, a banker in Nairobi also uses the Thika highway to visit his relatives in Nyeri during the December holidays.
A distance of 150 km, a journey from Nairobi to Nyeri can be time-consuming if the roads are riddled with potholes.
"Before the completion of the Thika Highway, my car used to breakdown frequently on the way," Weru said.
"However now I travel without experiencing any mechanical problems on the road," he said. Kenya has in the past decade invested billions of U.S. dollars to improve its road infrastructure. Most of the road projects have been carried out by Chinese firms.
The country is also constructing three bypasses in Nairobi.
The bypasses are aimed at reducing congestion in the capital city which has seen an exponential increase in the number of vehicles.
The Southern Bypass is a 28.6 km road that will be built by the China Road and Bridge Corporation and is 85 percent financed by the China Exim Bank.
The 39 km Eastern Bypass will be partly financed by the Chinese government and is being built by Chinese construction firms.
Some sections of the bypasses have eased movement in the city.
Reedited by Jack Zhao
Photos from official websites

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