Commuters barred from using section of Lamu-Garsen road due to floods

The flooded section of the Lamu-Garsen road. PHOTO: NATASHA NEMA.

Lamu, KENYA: A section of the Lamu-Garsen road has been closed off for use after parts of the road and bridges caved in and were swept away by ongoing floods and heavy rains rendering it impassable and dangerous.

Commuters have subsequently been warned to steer clear off the road until its renovated

On Tuesday while on a tour of the road, Lamu county police commander Muchangi Kioi announced that the road was currently dangerous for commuters and has to be closed off indefinitely.

Police have also warned drivers against parking at the flooded Milihoi area to avoid being an easy target for Al Shabaab terrorists since the area is a renowned terror hotspot where tens of civilians and security officers have lost their lives including the late former Public Works PS Mariam El Maawy whose convoy was attacked in the same spot.

Kioi has instead asked commuters to use the smaller Mpeketoni-Kizuke feeder road after which travelers will now be forced to connect to their destinations via boats up to Mokowe jetty then into Lamu town.

He warned that those who won’t heed the directive will be endangering their lives.

Drivers who have a habit of parking at the flooded Milihoi terror hotspot have been asked to quit the dangerous trend with immediate effect.

The commander has however assured commuters using the road of adequate security saying enough security officers have been deployed to guard the road day and night and that as such there was no cause for alarm.

“From today all commuters and motorists are hereby barred from using this road. Even those going on foot are also forbidden. The continued use of such a road is extremely dangerous. We have made arrangements for a smaller road to be used thereafter people will connect by boat. Its better that way and safer than this,” said Kioi.

He, however, said the concerned company has been asked to renovate the road immediately the rains stop and as such called for patience among users of the road.

Lamu deputy county commissioner Loius Rono said the further use of the road from today was likely to attract fatalities.

“The fact that we are closing this road off now is timely. We don’t have to wait for the situation to get serious before making such a decision. Stay away and live,” said Rono.

On Monday, more than 500 passengers of various bus companies plying the Lamu-Garsen route had to cut short their journeys and go back to wherever they had come from after heavy rains and subsequent floods made their journey impossible.

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