Kenya developing Climate Resilience Nairobi-Mombasa Expressway Project, in partnership with GCA

R otterdam, the Netherlands, 19 June 2024 – The Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) is partnering with the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) to support mainstreaming adaptation and resilience in the Nairobi-Mombasa Expressway. The project is a flagship public-private partnership under development, connecting two of the largest economic hubs of Kenya to significantly boost intra-Africa trade, in line with Kenya’s participation to the Free Trade Area project. This new collaboration with KeNHA is part of GCA’s broader efforts under the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP) to integrate climate adaptation strategies into major infrastructure projects, supporting regional connectivity and promoting climate resilience in East Africa.

Kenya, which has been significantly impacted by climate change, including recent devastating floods attributed to El Niño and exacerbated by greenhouse gas emissions, stands to benefit from this landmark project. KeNHA has been at the forefront of including climate risks and adaptation and resilience options within its network development and maintenance strategies nationally, building on its expertise, on collaborations under the AAAP including on the Kenya-South Sudan Roads Corridor, and participating to the GCA Climate Resilient Infrastructure PPP Masterclass implemented in partnership with the University of Nairobi.

Professor Patrick V. Verkooijen, CEO of GCA, emphasized the importance of this initiative, stating, “The Nairobi-Mombasa Expressway is not just a transportation project; it is a lifeline for economic resilience and climate adaptation. By embedding climate resilience into its very foundation, we are ensuring that this critical infrastructure can withstand future climatic shocks and continue to serve the people and economy of Kenya for decades to come.”

The project, estimated at USD$3.6 billion, will be developed under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) framework, aligning with KeNHA’s Strategic Plan 2023-2027 and Kenya’s new PPP Act of 2021. Climate Change adaptation and mitigation is a strategic focus for KeNHA with an objective of increasing resiliency of Kenya’s road network. This partnership aims to address key vulnerabilities by incorporating comprehensive climate risk assessments, identifying cost-effective adaptation measures, and developing a climate-resilient PPP contract.

The expressway will feature 440 kilometers of four-lane carriageways, interchanges, ramps, link roads, and drainage structures, significantly improving the safety and capacity of transport between Nairobi and Mombasa. Additionally, the project will support local communities through the creation of thousands of jobs and small business opportunities, while promoting regional trade and development.

GCA’s support will include technical assistance for climate risk assessments and the integration of green and grey adaptation solutions within the project design. This initiative builds on GCA’s previous work with KeNHA, including the Kenya-South Sudan Roads Corridor project and the creation of a Masterclass on Climate Resilient Infrastructure PPPs delivered in partnership with the University of Nairobi.

Notes to Editors
About the Global Center on Adaptation
The Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) is an international organization that promotes adaptation to the impacts of climate change. It works to climate-proof development by instigating policy reforms and influencing investments made by international financial institutions and the private sector. The goal is to bring climate adaptation to the forefront of the global fight against climate change and ensure that it remains prominent. Founded in 2018, GCA embodies innovation in its approach to climate adaptation as well as in its physical presence. It operates from the largest floating office in the world, in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. GCA has a worldwide network of regional offices in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire; Dhaka, Bangladesh; and Beijing, China. The Center will open a new office in Nairobi, Kenya in 2025.

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