Database from the Engineers Board of Kenya shows that there are 1,848 registered professional engineers, 393 registered consulting engineers and 12,130 graduate engineers. This highlights the critical need for capacity building and knowledge transfer to the younger generation of professionals in the engineering practice with requisite skills to develop well trained personnel to successfully manage the sector. I aim to be a registered professional engineer within the next three years, thus, facilitate and provide experiential training to graduate engineers on road design, construction, rehabilitation, maintenance, and contract administration aspects of projects through mentorship and supervisory roles.
The skills will also be applicable in increasing mobility and enhancing connectivity between resources, processing points and terminal markets especially in Kenya’s Expansion of Roads Programme aimed to construct and rehabilitate national and county roads network. This will go a long way in achieving sustainable national development through adequately trained professionals.
There is demand to research and develop cost effective road construction and maintenance alternatives to the traditional methods and materials.
Kenya is one of the countries identified by DFID funded African Community Access Programme (AfCAP) to deliver safe and sustainable access to rural communities through developing new design standards for low volume sealed roads. The skills acquired from my proposed study would equip me with the ability to promote uptake and update of research findings amongst road practitioners, collaborate and partner in transport research within the region and innovate home grown solutions for our local pavements. This will lay the foundation for deliberate efforts and cost effective operations in developing improved designs and standards for road construction and maintenance to support the country’s socio economic development. According to Economic Survey 2018, road projects across the country have breached ideal cost ceilings.
I aspire to serve an advisory role to the national government on key urban transport issues and in developing policy recommendations. This will involve undertaking research and formulating policy alternatives. My first objective would be developing an urban form framework that encourages the use of public transport and non-motorised modes of travel which will have the effect of reducing reliance on personal motor vehicles. This will reduce congestion and vehicle emissions as we integrate sustainable development goal (SDG).
My second objective would be creating a shift towards transit oriented development that integrates land use and transport planning through development around public transport stations and terminals. This will involve working with senior officials from concerned agencies and departments to create a unified transport and land use plan for metropolitan areas. The UK will be funding the development of Lamu Port city master plan bringing in urban planners, environmental experts and infrastructure planners. I hope to be among the team working on the cities that will benefit from the Ksh 8 billion modernisation fund.
Ultimately, I desire to be in charge of implementing road policies in relation to national roads and planning the development and maintenance of national roads. This would be highly relevant to Kenya as we are undergoing massive infrastructural development for achievement of Kenya’s development blueprint Vision 2030.
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