DETERMINANTS OF URBAN ROADS PROJECTS COMPLETION IN KENYA: A CASE OF INLAND CONTAINER DEPOT ACCESS ROAD A IN NAIROBI COUNTY

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ABSTRACT

While urban transport has had a tremendous liberating impact, it has also posed a very serious problem to the urban impact in which it operates. This has brought about the growing demands for construction of urban roads which is on its high and with it comes overstretched and widened fiscal constraints, leading Governments to seek finances only for the projects to delay or haul  due to various reasons. The proposed study, therefore, was to investigate determinants of urban roads projects completion in Kenya: A case of Inland Container Depot Access Road A in Nairobi County. The study had the following objectives: to determine how Project Design, Project Financing, Contract Administration and Stakeholders Involvement influence urban roads projects completion. The study was grounded on two theories namely: The Theory of Constraints and Stakeholders Theory. The study adopted descriptive survey research design and relied mostly on primary data sources. Target population comprised of staff working at Kenya Railways, Road A Consultant and Contractor, totaling to 90 respondents. The sample size was be 84, derived using Krecjie and Morgan (1970) table. The study adopted purposive sampling and stratified random sampling due to the heterogeneous nature of the target population. A semi- structured questionnaire and interview guide were adopted as research instruments. The quantitative data was coded using SPSS tool and data analyzed by the use of arithmetic means and standard deviation. Data is presented in the form of frequencies and percentages in tables. Inferential statistics were computed using Pearson Correlation Coefficient, to measure the influence of the independent variables on the dependent variable. Qualitative data gathered from the interviews and open-ended questions in the questionnaire was evaluated based on definitions consistent with the study objectives. Thematic analysis was applied to interview transcripts to examine data to identify common themes and ideas that come up. From the study findings, the theme of Urban Roads Projects Completion in Kenya had a composite mean of 3.236 and standard deviation of 2.986. The theme of project design and Urban Roads Projects Completion in Kenya had a composite mean of 3.190 and standard deviation of 2.891. The theme of Project Financing and Urban Roads Projects Completion in Kenya had a composite mean of 3.346 and standard deviation of 3.046. The theme of Contract Administration and Urban Roads Projects Completion had a composite mean of 3.528 and standard deviation of 3.241and the theme of Stakeholders’ Involvement and Urban Roads Projects Completion in Kenya had a composite mean of 3.409 and standard deviation of 3.160. From the findings, the study concluded that project design, project financing, contract administration and stakeholders’ involvement influenced urban roads completion in Kenya. The study findings helped to make various recommendations, that is, that governments look into the issues of project delays, since urban road infrastructures make up a large part of the gross domestic product worldwide, playing a crucial role in the country’s growth; adequate funds should be provided to support the execution of a project in order to be successful; project managers to create awareness that the success of a project is marked to the satisfaction of its stakeholders. Suggestions for areas for further research were given, guided by the study findings.

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

  Background of the Study

Transportation Infrastructure is the basic physical and organizational framework required to run a nation such as highways, railways, airports, marine harbors and so on. This is the business, infrastructure, and facilities required to operate in an economy. It is a significant term for judging the status of a country (Gbadebo & Olalusi, 2014). Developing countries, where around 74 per cent of the world’s population lives, are expanding the development of transport infrastructure investment to achieve their goals of social and economic sustainable development. According to Amer (2014) has culminated in the completion of urban road transport projects with an unprecedented contractual cost of over US$ 1 billion, attracting public interest due to their substantial effect on the global, regional and national economies and markets, as well as the fiscal budgets.

Successful completion of a project means that all requirements have been met by the parties concerned, be they government, investors, design engineers , contractors or even operators and criteria of efficient project implementation or essential performance indicators such as project time , budget, scope , quality, risk management, the project’s hard and soft resources, technology, political climate, expertise and know-how, participation of stakeholders and customer satisfaction were thoroughly and fully satisfied, Nyamwaro (2011). According to Nwachukwu, Emoh, and Egolum (2010), the four progress evaluation criteria have to be met for a project to be termed as successfully implemented, that is the time parameter; completed on time; the cost parameter; completed within the allocated budget; the reliability parameter; completed according to the original defined performance and quality standards and the client’s satisfaction parameter; accepted by the targeted users or clients.

Greater efforts should be made to project planning, schedule and cost assessments. A research conducted by Nabil, Zaydoun and Hesham (2017) on the delay and cost overrun of infrastructure projects in Jordan concluded that in order to minimize the likelihood of delay and cost overrun during the implementation of road projects, such assessments are paramount in road projects. Khalafizadeh, Mirhosseini and Tayari (2014) noted that thorough planning and management processes should be adopted during the construction period of the projects to satisfy the implementation specifications as per the project plans. Proper management of infrastructure developments can include procedures to avoid problems and contingency plans

to minimize the severity of challenges when they occur. In a research conducted in Saudi Arabia, Sambasivan and Soon (2017) observed that 30% of high-tech and state-of-the-art construction projects were completed within the planned completion periods and that the average overrun was between 10% and 30%. In Kuwait, a study by Koushki, Al-Rashid and Kartam (2015) on delays in construction contracts showed that 64% of investors had levied fines for any delay in contracts. Owolabi (2014) noted that various causes, activities and constraints influence the completion of urban road building projects, which are a mixture of both planned or unplanned developments and interactions over their lifespan and changing stakeholders and processes in ever-changing environments, thereby causing delays. According to Gbadebo and Olalusi (2014), projects are expected to reach requirements, but most projects embarked upon end up being white elephant projects. Assaf and Al-Hejji (2006) described road construction project delays as the time lags beyond the project completion period established in a contract or overruns beyond the date negotiated upon by the entities for the execution of a construction project. Karim and Marosszeky (2019) noted that project delays were a matter of great concern in the transportation construction industry.

Most construction projects suffer delay and exceed the contract amount outlined so their impact on project completion is very important, World Bank (2014). A study carried out by Piper (2011) in Malaysia revealed that between 2010 and 2017, up to 71 per cent of road infrastructure development projects were delayed for completion as a result of poor budgetary allocations and inconvenient binding contracts. In the U.S.A, Bramble and Callahan (2011) examined productivity drivers in road construction, such as owners, designers, contractors and other relevant project completion delays and discovered that late site release to the contractor, defects in contract design, slow correction of design errors, revision of tardy shop drawings, testing and inspection, acts of God and land disputes were some of the causes involved.

Amer (2014) researched on the performance of road infrastructure projects in Malaysia and the results revealed that four key components define the effective requirements of an infrastructure project which are convenience, competence, involvement and communications. Successful factors ensure well balanced capital, efforts and leadership for project execution. Competence requires that appropriate equipment, expertise, and specialties are available for the project. Involvement ensures that all project stakeholders and all levels of each participating organization’s management hierarchy are able to coordinate, schedule, design,

build and operate the facility in a harmonious manner. Communication allows both internal and external project stakeholders to explain and disseminate both relevant information and feedback about the project.

Delays in project implementation are common in Africa when implementing urban road infrastructure projects. Awoyinfa (2012) noted that between 32% and 56% of projects in Nigeria experienced delays in completion due to a lack of materials, bad plants, equipment and machinery. In Egypt, Laila and Mohamed (2018) observed that 16.6% of road projects faced overhead costs, 37% suffered over time, and 98% of contractors were delayed due to financial and political factors in delivering their project on scheduled time. According to Karim & Marosszeky (2019), between 2004 and 2009, up to 45 per cent of road reconstruction and renovation projects in Soweto in South Africa were not completed in time due to factors such as political disputes when Zimbabwean refugees entered the region, low technology applications in road construction, etc. According to World Bank (2014), as a result of issues resulting from irregularly procured and awarded tenders, political uncertainty has left as many as 30 per cent of roads and highways unfinished. In their claims in Sudan, Omran, Abdalrahman and Pakir (2012), urban road network projects have encountered cost overruns progressively leading to incomplete roads. A study done by Apolot (2013) on causes of delays in construction of public transport infrastructure in Uganda revealed that there is limited access to finance and decision-making attitudes.

In Kenya, the government has increased investment in urban road infrastructure through direct budgetary allocation and through cooperation with the private sector, such as foreign governments and banks as part of efforts to boost connectivity and enhance the country’s logistics network. Considering the role of roads in the country’s socio-economic growth, the government has gradually increased the allocation of budgets to the road sub-sector in the recent past (Ondari,2013). The Third Medium Term Plan (MTP III) 2018-2022 established the development, expansion and reconstruction of 10,000 km of convectional roads as the foundation and enabler of national transformation in steering Kenya ‘s economy towards achieving the objectives of the sustainable economic growth pillars of Vision 2030, (Economic Survey,2015). Despite these government commitments, delays in completing transportation infrastructure building such as roads are a common reality in Kenya. Amid Treasury Allocation Funds, Road Maintenance Levy Fund (RMLF), Local Government Capital Fund, Long-Term Infrastructure Loan, Public Private Partnerships and Debt Capital

Assistance from Developed Countries to develop Kenya’s road network to meet the Vision 2030 Development Goals, significant obstacles are facing urban road projects (KURA, 2017).

Successful road construction is an impetus to economic development for Kenya as enumerated in the Kenya Vision 2030 (GoK, 2019). Consequently, the Government has invested heavily in the road construction. However, the challenges of project implementation are not experienced in Nairobi only. A study on Kericho-Kisumu road, Chepkoech (2012) argued that the road was to be completed by 2002 had taken a relatively longer time and was completed by mid-2005. Kiambu County, Kenya’s fastest growing county has had a share of its challenges. For example, in financial year 2017/2018 KeNHA planned to construct 13,138.7 km of roads in Kiambu County at a projected cost of KSh.204 Million whereas KeRRA had a budget of KSh.108 Million to maintain 28,243 km of rural roads in the same county. On the other hand, KURA had a forecast of maintaining 2,338 km of roads at a cost of 510 Million (KRB, 2019). According to (KRB, 2019), there are a number of road projects in Kiambu county that have experienced a 1 year time overrun, as thus: the Ksh.110 Million proposed upgrading of 3Km Kanjiku- Kingothia road project to bituminous standards; the Ksh.1 billion upgrading of gravel road projects to bituminous standards (Kiambu bypass road 2km and Kiambu Bus park); the Ksh.100 Million upgrading of Wataalam-Bypass road, Bus park access to bituminous standards & improvement of storm water drainage; the ksh.79 Million upgrading of 2km Mugo Kibiru road project in Section 9 to bituminous standards, Improvement of drainage system and provision of NMT Facilities; the Ksh.51 Million upgrading of Kiambaa road to bituminous standards and the Ksh.140 Million proposed upgrading of Wambaa – Wamakima road project to bituminous standards.

Due to rapid development of the economy, the throughput of Mombasa port increased gradually to 24,875,000 Tons in 2014, (Kenya Ports Authority performance report, 2015). The existing modes of transport could not meet the transportation needs, so there was urgent need for a large capacity transport channel to be implemented. The government settled for construction of a Standard Gauge Railways from the port of Mombasa to Nairobi which commenced in 2014. According to Nairobi ICD Access Road Project Feasibility study report, (2015), during the implementation phase of the Standard Gauge Railway, it was foreseen the handling capacity of Nairobi Inland Container Depot would increase from 185,000 TEU per year to 410,000 TEU per year by year 2020. In order to meet the transportation requirements for the freight consignment, it was crucial to construct an access road dubbed road A from the

ICD before Mombasa Nairobi SGR line commence operations, (Nairobi ICD Access Road Project Feasibility study report, 2015).

  Statement of the Problem

Road agency statistics show that delays have been experienced in road construction with cost fluctuations, particularly in Nairobi urban areas. For instance, in the construction of Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) Gate – Bomas Section in Nairobi County by Kenya Urban Road Authority (KURA), construction commenced on 9th February 2012 and was scheduled to be completed within June 2013; the date was later revised to June 2014. The cost also escalated due to interests caused by delays (KURA, 2017). Construction cost of Thika Superhighway Road escalated from Kshs. 26.44 Billion to Kshs. 35.45 Billion (World Bank, 2014) and the project construction period was revised from July 2011 to July 2013.