Lamu-Garsen road back in operation

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

Lamu, KENYA: The Lamu-Garsen road is back in operation after a section of it was closed off for use a week ago due to flooding.

On Tuesday last week,commuters had been barred from using the road especially at Milihoi and Koreni after floods swept away bridges.

Parts of the road were also cut off and swept away by the floods rendering the it impassable.

However, speaking on Monday,Lamu county police commander Muchangi Kioi announced that road was now safe for use and was fully operational following successful rehabilitation and repairs.

The rehabilitation of the affected parts of the road was undertaken by the H-Young company which is also currently holding the tender to construct the entire 135 kilometre Lamu-Garsen road having been awarded in 2016.

Kioi however stressed the need for drivers and motorists to exercise caution while driving on the road in order to avoid accidents during this rainy season.

“The company has rehabilitated the affected parts of the road at Milihoi and Koreni.We have already allowed commuters to fully resume using the road.People should still however practice caution on the road,”said Kioi.

Last week,Lamu West MP Stanley Muthama while on a tour of the damaged road last week had issued a four day ultimatum for the contractor to either repair the road or he would push for the tender to be awarded to a different company.

The MP also accused the contractor of deliberate laxity on the road considering the tender was awarded in 2016.

In March last year, President Uhuru Kenyatta toured Lamu and commissioned the road in Witu.

Not much has been done since then with the state of the travelling on the road worsening with each day.

Commuters and motorists using the road have argued that if well rehabilitated,the road which has renowned terror hotspots will be easier and safer to use as they will be able to detect enemies from a far off and even flee if need be unlike now.

They want the Lamu-Garsen road tarmacked faster to enable for smooth travelling on the route.

“If the road is good especially at the hotspots, then vehicles would move at a good speed and the attacks and ambushes would be minimal.The contractor needs to move fast or be replaced.This is one road that needs attention,” said Thuo Wainaina,a motorist.