The World Bank has approved new funding for the reconstruction of Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, which suffered a major fire disaster in August 2013.
The Bank approved US$203.5 million financing to support the airport expansion works.
The funding will also to enable the government to complete upgrade on a major regional highway project.
Diarietou Gaye, World Bank Country Director, Kenya, said in a statement that the financing would support the restoration of operations at the airport. It will also finance Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) crisis response preparedness.
“The project will also enable us to complete ongoing contracts for upgrading of the two major trade and transport corridors to facilitate regional trade and integration,” Gaye said.
A massive fire destroyed international passenger terminal facilities and caused major flight disruptions at Kenya’s largest airport, which is also East Africa’s busiest international air transport and tourism hub.
Although domestic and international flight operations were quickly restored, some passenger services are being handled from temporary terminals.
Under the new funding, a new temporary international passenger arrivals terminal will be installed and terminal 4, which is under construction with World Bank funding, will be expanded to include permanent facilities for an international arrivals lounge.
The new funding from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) will increase the total financing to US$503.5 million.
The World Bank is financing the upgrade of major sections of the Northern Corridor, which runs from Mombasa through Nairobi to the Kenya-Uganda border, and the Western Corridor, which extends from Kenya’s border with northern Tanzania through Kisumu, Eldoret and Kitale to the South Sudan border.
It is also financing the modernization of the Moi International Airport in Mombasa – Kenya’s second largest airport.
“The increased funding will enable the government to continue with the expansion plan underway at JKIA, which would otherwise have been disrupted by diversion of funds to the critical emergency works, and also to complete the existing contracts,” said Josphat Sasia, the Project’s Task Team Leader.