Press Center | Freight Shipping Logistics News

The planned Dongo Kundu bypass has had a major influence on land and property prices in Mombasa, especially in Changamwe and Mazeras.
The planned Dongo Kundu bypass has had a major influence on land and property prices in Mombasa, especially in Changamwe and Mazeras.

The Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) invited applications for funding the project early this year.

It has dragged on for over 40 years since first mooted and now the Japan International Cooperation Agency has sent a team to review the preliminary design, sparking the current land and property boom.

Intense interest in the land, according to Myspace Property managing director Mwenda Thuranira is between Miritini and Mazeras.

The proposed bypass will start near Miritini, west of Moi International Airport, on the central mainland and will connect with the south mainland on the Likoni-Diani road.

The bypass, to skirt Dongo Kundu, will be about 17.5 kilometres long and project consultants Mochel are now working on the final designs after the Government approved the preliminaries.

“Once the bypass is complete, container freight stations (CFSs) and transporters will move from Changamwe, where they are currently concentrated, to areas further west towards Mazeras,” Mr Thuranira said. “Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) will rely on the bypass to improve the efficiency of delivering containers from the port. With Dongo Kundu bypass in use, the trucks will easily avoid the congested Changamwe circuit by joining the highway at Miritini along the Mombasa-Nairobi highway,” port public relations manager Benard Osero said.

This will change the fortunes of Changamwe, which has emerged as a commercial hub since 2007 when houses started making way for the freight stations that were started to relieve congestion at the port.

Today, there are more than 15 licensed stations in the region, each on more than 10 acres.

Transporters prefer yards near the stations but once the Dongo Kundu bypass opens, land in Changamwe will be freed for other uses since it would not be desirable to bring containers from Miritini towards Changamwe, Mr Thuranira said.

A commercial centre in Changamwe is already taking shape with the first office blocks to be built by Myspace Property, with 60 offices in a five-storey building planned to start before the end of this year.

“The blocks will rest on a two-acre plot with sufficient parking and will be the first offices in the region to have capacity to accommodate leading shipping line agents, clearing and forwarding agents, cargo consolidators, transporters and other stakeholders such as banks,” said Mr Thuranira, who is also the Kenya Property Developers Association (KPDA) chairman in Coast province

The project had been funded by I & M bank to a tune of Sh1 billion.

Changamwe is just a few minutes drive from Mombasa port and is said to be better placed to become a shipping centre than congested Mombasa Island.

Banks have already been attracted to Changamwe with the Commercial Bank of Africa, Imperial Bank and Kenya Women Fund Trust all opening new branches in the region.

The Bank of Africa (BoA) opened a branch there two months ago.

“Changamwe is Mombasa’s transport hub and positioning ourselves there will be convenient to our customers who will not now have to beat congestion to access our services in Mombasa Island,” said the the managing director of BoA, Mr Kwame Ahadzi.

However, the National Bank of Kenya, which receives tax on behalf of the Kenya Revenue Authority, has not yet established a branch in Changamwe.

Mr Joseph Kirema, an investor in cargo handling logistics and the managing director of Summit Cove, said there was a huge potential for Changamwe to become a commercial hub.

Transporters have recently seen the need for parking yards between Miritini and Mazeras, he said, and the value of the land had doubled in the last two years with an acre currently going for Sh30 million

Ms Alice Wahome, the managing director of Shikara Apartments, said that it was necessary to decongest the island by creating business hubs elsewhere and Changamwe had shown potential for that role.

Due to the increased pressure on land in Changamwe, housing investors had moved to the neighbouring estates of Tudor, Mikindani and Miritini, increasing the cost of land as well as rent.