Influence of road sub-sector reforms on performance of roads management in kenya: a case of Kenya National Highways Authority South Rift Region
The importance of road transport as an enabler for economic growth, poverty reduction and wealth creation in Kenya cannot be over emphasized. The road sub sector has however, for years suffered from poor management and inadequate funds for roads maintenance.In the recent past however, reform efforts have been undertaken with a view to addressing the poor state which the roads were in. The reforms saw a roads fund body; Kenya Roads Board (KRB), established in the year 2000 following enactment of the Kenya Roads Board Act in 1999.The reform efforts also saw the establishment of three implementing agencies, namely the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA), Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) and Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA). The authorities are autonomous bodies which were established following enactment of the Kenya Roads Act in 2007. Their creation was aimed at addressing the legal and institutional weaknesses identified in road management and maintenance.The purpose of this study was to assess the influence the road sub-sector reforms has had on the performance of roads management in Kenya.Related literature was reviewed with a view to establishing the existing knowledge on the road sub-sector reforms. This is a qualitative case study wheredescriptive design was adopted. Primary data was used and two survey tools in the form questionnaires and interview schedule were used to obtain the data. Purposive sampling design was used whereby all the 15 staff members of KeNHA south rift region were administered with questionnaires. Further, a senior managerial staff from KeNHA head office was picked as a key informant and an in-depth interview carried out on him. The collected data was then analyzed using the statistical packages for social sciences (SPSS) version 20.0 and the results of the analysis presented in form of tables. The results were then used to draw the following conclusions: i) The road subsector reforms were effective in improving the efficient management of roads; ii)the legal and regulatory reforms in the road sector have influenced positively roads management in Kenya; iii) funding for roads maintenance was not adequate to fund the intended road maintenance activities; iv) Effective organizational leadership is critical for organizational success and KeNHA’s leadership has performed well so far.Thefindings and recommendations of this study if observed will be beneficial to the government and the road agencies in improving the weaknesses that still exist in the sub sector, as they seek to better manage and improve the road infrastructure in the country.