Lamu, KENYA: Lamu county commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo has denied claims that frequent Alshabaab attacks have hindered efforts to construct the Lamu-Garsen highway by the concerned contractor.
The 135-kilometer road was commissioned for construction by president Uhuru Kenyatta March 9 this year but nothing much has happened ever since.
The rumor mill has been rife that the constant Alshabaab attacks and presence on the route have made the contracted company scared and unable to do his work effectively.
The Sh.10.4 billion contract was awarded to H-Young company for the construction of the road which has riddled with potholes for decades making transport a nightmare.
The road is expected to be completed in three years as per President Kenyatta’s pledge during the commissioning.
Residents and security agencies also seem to concur that the poor state of the road has given Alshabaab undue advantage as they easily set up IEDs and ambushes on security and passenger vehicles on the route at the most vulnerable points.
However speaking in his office on Friday, Kitiyo said the government had made drastic security arrangements for the contractor and all those involved in the construction of the road to ensure their work proceeds uninterrupted.
Kitiyo has asked politicians to quit spreading malicious allegations, rumours and baseless propaganda concerning the issue.
He said there is enough security on the route and for the workers carrying out the construction including the contractor.
“The government has ensured the contractor is well protected as he does his work.His workers are also under the same protection scheme.People should stop this baseless rumours.It doesn’t help.Politicians should steer clear too.We are looking forward to the completion of the road in the next 36 months,” said Kitiyo.
The Lamu-Garsen road is the major connecting point between Lamu and the rest of the country, meaning it’s the sole entry and exit point to and from Lamu county.
Once complete, the road is pegged upon to open up Lamu to more trade and industrial activities.