Reuters is reporting that Chinese road engineers are helping
to lay down the first miles of a much-delayed paved road linking Kenya to Ethiopia. The 330-mile stretch of
road from Isiolo to Moyale on the border is one of the last unpaved sections of
the Great North Road,
a British colonial attempt to connect Cape Town
to Cairo. The
road will open up the northern half of Kenya, a region that has been
effectively sealed off for 100 years.
Lack of infrastructure is not the only
problem facing northern Kenya;
the region is also wracked by banditry and tribal clashes. Even so, the road is
expected to greatly increase tourism and trade. Some of Kenya's most
pristine national parks are in the northern region, rarely visited because of
their remoteness— 31 miles past Isiolo lie three game reserves that rival the
famed Maasai Mara for the volume and variety of animals.