Kwale, Europe Firms To Test Road Building Using Cement Additives

Kwale County will introduce a new road construction method in a move that could radically cut cost of infrastructure development in Kenya.

Road construction. PHOTO | FILE | NMG

Road construction. PHOTO | FILE | NMG

The method, technically known as Engineered Material Arresting System (EMAS), involves use of cement additives and sand, a relatively cheaper option than the current tar and ballast technology.

It will be piloted at Mwabungo in Kwale County after the general election, said the county executive in charge of Infrastructure Hemed Mwabudzo.

Three European firms have partnered with Kwale County in the pilot that if successful will be up-scaled to other regions, Mr Mwabudzo said.

The three are Swiss road building company Kibag, Nano Terra AG of Germany and Champion Afrik Ltd, which will undertake the ground work.

Mr Mwabudzo said the demonstration project will cover one kilometre of the Lunga Lunga-Mwabungo junction.
“This project is a gift for Kwale and Kenya. It will not cost the county any money. It is meant to showcase and demonstrate delivery of the most advanced road building technology, which is able to improve the quality, the durability of roads in the most cost-effective manner,” he said.

Roads built using the EMAS technology are said to be waterproof and last at least 50 years. Mr Mwabudzo said the method will “aggressively transform Kwale’s infrastructure”.

Champion Afrik Ltd chairman Jonathan Gration and the CEO of International Advisers Ranjit Menon said the European partners have built highways as well as runways of Zurich Airport.

“Nano Terra’s cutting-edge products based on the nanotechnology improve quality of the roads by several grades, thus significantly increasing their durability and lifetime. It’s environmentally friendly and saves resources,” Mr Gration said in a statement.

– Business Daily