A family-owned real estate development company, Superior Homes Kenya has broken ground for the construction of a Sh350 million modern roadside stopover complex at Sultan Hamud town along the Nairobi-Mombasa highway.
Dubbed “Supastop”, the truck drivers stop will feature modern amenities for long-distance transit drivers, including safe and secure parking, fuel station, decent and affordable accommodation, a variety of affordable eateries, convenience stores, clean restrooms, clean showers, prayer rooms, and a health facility, all in one development.
It will also offer other services including truck and other vehicle maintenance and repair, driver training, and logistics services. The company intends to tap into the market gap of inadequate and informal truck stop facilities in Kenya by providing self-contained service and rest point areas to truck drivers along the various transit routes within the country, with the development at Sultan Hamud being the pilot for a further 30 proposed locations along the Northern Corridor.
Sultan Hamud is identified as a major parking spot for long-distance trucks with an estimated 300 trucks parking along the roadside every night. It is the center of a 145 km stretch between Mtito Andei and Salama but has been lacking decent accommodation facilities for long-distance transit drivers.
Speaking at the launch ceremony Governor of Makueni County, Mutula Kilonzo (Jnr) commended the developer for the innovative initiative that is also expected to help address the issue of driver fatigue – one of the biggest causes of road accidents.
“One of the biggest causes of road accidents is driver fatigue. When you offer long-distance transit drivers a secure parking spot, decent and affordable accommodation as will happen here, they are sure of a good night’s sleep, and you will have a fresh and more alert driver on the road the following day,” Governor Kilonzo said.
He noted that road safety is a key agenda for Makueni County, and encouraged other players to join in implementing long-term initiatives that are key in boosting the growth of the county and the logistics industry at large
“We are continuously putting in place and enforcing rules and guidelines to ensure our roads are safe for all,” said Kilonzo.
Superior Homes Kenya CEO Shiv Arora said that their main drive to put up modern stopover complex facility was driven by the gap in the Kenyan market where long-distance transit drivers lack decent and affordable resting places.
“With the demand for goods and services increasing, and the growing concern to promote road safety for road users, the need for safe rest stops has never been greater. Fatigue among long-distance transit drivers is a major cause of most road accidents between heavy commercial vehicles and passenger buses collisions that often result in loss of lives and properties estimated in millions of dollars every year. The implementation of this project also provides direct and indirect employment opportunities to communities around Sultan Hamud and its environs, which is a contribution to the people’s well-being,” said Arora.
The project is expected to create numerous jobs in construction, operations, and maintenance. Through this project, Arora pointed out, the developer will be able to not only impact the logistics sector but the surrounding communities as well.
The chief executive also noted that the company, which has a number of developments including, Greenpark Estate in Athi-River in Machakos County, Fadhili Care within Greenpark Estate, Greenpark Sundowner within Greenpark Estate, Pazuri at Vipingo in Kilifi County, Lake Elementaita Mountain Lodge in Nakuru County and Lukenya Wildlife Estate in Machakos County, has established footprints in the real estate and hospitality sectors in Kenya and that they are happy to also tap into the logistics sector through this project.
“As a company, we are always keen to venture into impactful and innovative products. We have already set a track record through our various developments that exist in the Kenyan market, and we are confident that this new project will open even bigger and better opportunities in the future,” he said.
Completion of the project is scheduled for end of 2023 and will contribute to the reduction of road accidents attributed to long-distance heavy commercial vehicles and passenger buses that not only lead to loss of lives, but also loss of properties estimated in millions of dollars every year.
The International Labour Organization Hours of Work and Rest Periods (Road Transport) Convention, 1979, stipulates that truck drivers should not exceed nine hours per day or 48 hours per week without rest. Supastop is a pilot project in partnership with the Northern Corridor Transit and Transit Corridor (NCTTCA) which is mandated to guarantee free passage of transit traffic along the member states of the Northern Corridor.