Lamu, KENYA: The national government has revealed plans to rehabilitate two key Jetties in Lamu at a cost of Sh.420 Million.
The Mokowe Customs and the Manda Jetties have been in a dilapidated state for years posing a serious security risk to travelers who use them daily.
The two jetties serve over 30,000 locals and visitors coming to Lamu via road and air respectively.
The Mokowe customs jetty which is the only connection to Lamu island and other islands in the county has especially been worse off as travelers are forced to use one side after the other part completely collapsed into the Indian Ocean.
Anyone coming to Lamu via road has to go through the Mokowe customs jetty.
The Manda Jetty on its part serves locals and visitors coming to Lamu town from Manda airport and Manda island respectively.
The two jetties are therefore vital connections of Lamu town to the mainland and other islands in the region.
Kenya Ports Authority-KPA engineers who spoke in Lamu town on Tuesday said normally, the jetties are supposed to be serviced every five years but that, that hasn’t been the case with the two jetties that have never been serviced since they were established years ago.
The Mokowe Jetty was established more than 15 years ago while the Manda Jetty has been in place for over seven years.
Speaking in Lamu on Tuesday, Chief Structural Engineer in the State Department of Public Works, Hillary Nyaanga said the government had allocated Sh.400 Million for the fresh construction of the Mokowe Jetty and another Sh.20 Million for the rehabilitation of the Manda Airport Jetty.
Nyaanga said rehabilitating the Mokowe Customs jetty would be unrealistic and dangerous considering the state it’s in adding that it will be better to build a new one instead.
“We will build a fresh jetty at Mokowe while we rehabilitate the Manda airport one.The monies have already been received.It’s 400 Million for the Mokowe one and Sh.20 Million for the latter.Safety is our priority and the government is doing everything to ensure ease of movement for the people here,” said Nyaanga.
He said the structural designs for the two jetties are almost done and that work shall commence anytime from now.
He added that the work at the two jetties will be complete in three years after which they will be ready for use.
The Jetties are a crucial component in the county’s transport system considering that at least 99% movement to and from Lamu town is by water.
Jetties are used more like stations where goods and passengers are loaded and offloaded.