Nyaribari Masaba Member of Parliament, Daniel Manduku, has tabled a Bill in Parliament aimed at amending the Kenya Roads Act to promote balanced development across all regions in Kenya.
The proposed amendment specifically focuses on ensuring that the Rural Roads Authority prioritises equitable planning, rehabilitation, and maintenance of rural roads within each constituency.
If the Act is amended, it will significantly reduce the need for parliamentarians to engage in lobbying efforts for road construction from the national government.
Under the proposed amendment, every constituency in the nation will receive an equitable allocation of the road network, depending on various factors such as size and population.
“The object of these amendments is to ensure that there is equitable distribution of the resources across the country for the development of roads,” Manduku stated in the amendment.
“This is because although the burden of taxation is shared equally across the country, the same cannot be said of the distribution of tarmacked roads.”
The Treasury will now be mandated to outline development and maintenance priorities being done in each county and constituency.
Manduku argues that historically, some communities have been marginalised and missed out on development projects despite the constitution stipulating that every region in Kenya should be treated equally.
The Bill is being introduced at a time when government road agencies are under scrutiny for not tendering road projects in areas perceived to be opposition strongholds.
In August, Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) was put on the spot after it floated road maintenance tenders in all regions in the country except Nyanza.
KeNHA later clarified that it had not included Nyanza in the list since it was undertaking similar road projects in the region.
Similarly, earlier this month Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) was put to task to explain why there was no single tarmac road in Mfangano Island, Mbita Constituency in Homa Bay County.
In response, KURA said that a plan to tarmac certain roads in Mfangano Island was already in the works.