This would be a good time to revisit the basic ingredients in road construction. Infrastructure may not be one of the pillars in the Kenyan Government’s Big Four agenda but it will surely play a major part in its fulfilment.
In an interview with CNN’s Richard Quest, President Uhuru Kenyatta emphasized reduction of the infrastructure gap as one of his key focus areas during his last term. All things considered, Agriculture supports 80% of Kenya’s population and contributes 26% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Access to market is vital for Kenyan farmers, most of whom depend on earthen roads to access key markets.
The onus may fall on construction companies like Commodore International to explore, test and introduce innovations in rural road construction.
One particularly interesting option is plant-based road binders as an alternative to bitumen. This solution would use normal Type 1 Sub Base Aggregate (such as the very common and cheap hardcore) as the core material for both the base and the surface finish – the only difference would be the sub base material would be bound with the plant-based binder and compacted, extending the lifespan of the earthen road.
This is concept is still in its experimental stages; numerous tests will need to be carried out to assets its load capacity and longevity before implementing it as a viable solution.