State releases sh. 130 M for renovation of Lamu jetties

The KPA Jetty in Lamu. Sh 130 million has been released for the renovation of four jetties in Lamu. PHOTO: NATASHA NEMA.

Lamu, KENYA: The national government has released Sh.130 Million towards the first phase of renovation and reconstruction of four key jetties in Lamu county.

The jetties have been confirmed to be structurally unsound most of which face closure due to poor maintenance and rehabilitation.

Jetties are pivotal to Lamu town and other adjacent islands since they are the only entry and exit points aiding movement of people and cargo.

About 99% of movement and transport in Lamu town and adjacent islands is done at sea hence the need for efficient entry and exit points that are the jetties.

However, many of the major jetties in Lamu lie in dilapidated state and a constant threat to the safety of locals and visitors who have no other option but to use them.

A complete overhaul and reconstruction of all the jetties is expected to cost the government not less than Sh.1 Billion.

Speaking in Lamu town on Wednesday, Chief Structural Engineer in the State Department of Public Works Hillary Nyaanga said the four jetties to be constructed include Mokowe Customs Jetty, Lamu Terminal Jetty, Manda Airport Jetty, all in Lamu West and Mtangawanda Jetty in Lamu East.

Nyaanga said the assessment is already done with and a report that had been submitted to the relevant office has already been approved resulting in the release of the Sh.130 Million for the first phase of the work on the jetties.

He said work will begin in September with their main focus being on the major four entry jetties of Mokowe, Lamu and, Mtangawanda and Manda airport customs jetty.

“We are done with preliminary requests including drawing works and the general planning of the jetties construction. We wait to kick-start work in early September,” said Nyaanga.

Of the Sh.130 Million, Sh.80 Million will go into the reconstruction of the Mokowe Customs jetty, Sh.25 Million into the renovation of the Lamu Terminal jetty while Sh.20 Million goes into the renovation of the Manda airport jetty.

The remaining Sh.5 Million will be used to renovate the Mtangawanda jetty.

“We are doing this in phase and the Sh.130 Million is just but for the initial work in the first phase. We expect to be done with the reconstruction of the Mokowe Jetty in a year while the other three will be through in six months from September since they only require renovation,” said Nyaanga.

The entire Mokowe customs jetty is expected to take up an entire Sh.400 for the entire process.

The jetty is the worst affected after metals used in its initial construction corroded while some of the lanes collapsed into the Indian Ocean leaving users at the mercy of unsteady stamps.

Nyaanga said the entire Manda airport jetty renovation will cost Sh.20 Million while part of the money will also go into expanding the jetty to accommodate more boats, travelers and cargo.

Other smaller jetties in need for the same attention include the Kizuke Jetty and Jeti ya Ng’ombe jetties.

“For the Lamu Terminal Jetty, we will have to change the section which had been requested by the locals to be used as a temporary additional landing facility to a permanent feature. At Manda Airport Jetty, we will do the pontoon which is already in the water and also do protection works around the jetty. At Mtangawanda, we will rehabilitate one of the rollers which lift the pontoon up and down during low and high tides. It failed and we want to repair that. We expect to be done by end of 2019,” said Nyaanga.

He also revealed that the ministry plans to undertake the renovation of all sea walls in Lamu to stop water from the Indian Ocean flowing into residential areas.

Some of the sea walls in areas like Kizingitini and Faza have been undergoing renovation after they collapsed due to constant pressure caused by high tides and strong winds in the Indian Ocean.