Landowners Making Millions as Kenol-Marua Dual Carriageway Takes Shape

Expansion of the Kenol, Sagana, Nyeri highway.
Expansion of the Kenol, Sagana, Nyeri highway.

A new crop of millionaires stretching from the 84km stretch between Kenol (Murang'a County) to Marua (Nyeri County) is emerging.

This follows the ongoing Ksh14 billion Kenol-Sagana-Marua dual carriageway project that has resulted in a major boom in property value along the road.

"I have 8 acres in Sagana which have an asking price of Ksh8 million. There are 3 people who have offered to jointly buy three acres for Ksh24 million and subdivide them into 24 plots measuring and eight of an acre each. 

"Their plan is to sell each plot at Ksh1.5 million which will total to Ksh36 million thereby making them Ksh12 million in profit," a landowner explained to the media.

Traffic pile up at the Sagana Bridge area.
Traffic pile up at the Sagana Bridge area.

Once complete, the superhighway is expected to change the business environment on both flanks with motorists drawn from Nairobi, Murang'a, Nanyuki, Nyeri, Isiolo to mention but a few.

As is the case with all the major road projects in the country, business establishments sprout soon after. A good example is Kamakis area in Ruiru. Land that was previously characterised by shrubs is now teeming with hotels, petrol stations, supermarkets, and residential houses.

Along the Kenol-Sagana-Marua road, land buyers are looking to do the same with a shorter breakeven period expected based on similar projects.

Property prices have also risen in the nearby Kutus-Embu, Makutano and Sagana areas, with a 50% spike recorded in under 6 months.

The Kenol-Marua project is a segment of the proposed 219km Kenol-Isiolo dial carriageway - a key part of the Northern Corridor road networks.

As a result, predator buyers are already looking into acquiring land in Isiolo and its environs that are close to the proposed project.

However, the proposed connection to Isiolo has been plagued with delays with the government recently revealing ongoing talks with the US government in a bid to secure the funding needed for the project.

According to the Kenya National Highway Authority (KeNHA), the dualling of the busy road will be built in two segments; the first of which will include dualling of a 48km stretch from Kenol through Makutano to Sagana.

It will also feature three new bridges at Saba Saba, Saagana and Rwamuthambi rivers. An interchange will be constructed at Makutano.

The second segment of the project will include the dualling of the 36km stretch from Sagana through Karatina to Marua.

Currently, the dual carriageway from Nairobi ends at Kenol (Murang'a). Traffic snarl-ups and accidents are a common feature from this point onwards as thousands of motorists use the road on a daily basis.

The timeline for completion of the Kenol-Sagana-Marua highway was penned as 36 months meaning it should be ready by 2023.

Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia recently explained that the road expansion project is part of a larger undertaking to link the Northern corridor from Mombasa to Malaba with the Lapsset corridor that links Lamu to South Sudan and Ethiopia through Isiolo.

The government is also constructing the 540km Mau Mau road that will cut across five counties, Kiambu, Murang'a, Nyeri and Nyandarua.

According to CS Macharia, the Ksh30 billion road will traverse the Aberdares belt and adjacent areas and is meant to open up the majority of farmers in the regions to new markets.

It is these planned and gazetted projects that have seen a major spike in land prices along the corridors, with landowners raking in millions in the process.

The starting point of the Kenol-Sagana-Marua dual carriageway.
The starting point of the Kenol-Sagana-Marua dual carriageway.
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