President Uhuru visit to Lamu jumpstarts road constuction

Photos of president touring the road site last month./Natasha Nema

Lamu, KENYA: Construction of the Lamu-Garsen road is now very much on course owing to President’s Uhuru Kenyatta’s tour of the region, where he inspected national projects and also asked contractors to speed up others.

Locals and leaders are now upbeat that the road will be completed on time owing to the speed with which its now being constructed.

On August 1, the president made an impromptu stopover in Lamu county, where he inspected major national projects among them the Lapsset project site and the Lamu-Garsen road.

The president categorically asked contractors to speed up unfinished projects so as to pave way for new ones to be initiated.

There have been long term complaints of the laxity and slow nature with which the Lamu-Garsen road has been coming up despite the tender having been awarded a long time ago.

The sh.10.4 billion tender was awarded to the H-Young company back in 2016 for the construction of the 135 kilometre road.

Lamu West MP Stanley Muthama said the road was a major infrastructural component that would open up Lamu to investors.

“Initially the contractor was obviously asleep on the job but since the president came, things have changed and the road is very much on course. The works are moving at the required speed and we are sure it will be through soon so that we can say goodbye to insecurity on the road and welcome more trade, business and industries,” said Muthama.

Simeon Gakie, a truck driver who ferries cargo from the Mombasa port to Lamu weekly, said “We had tried engaging the contractor ourselves to have him speed up the work but it was obvious he wasn’t bothered by us but once the president spoke, he has changed and is working and we are glad.”

Travelers are now upbeat that they will be able to arrive to their destinations on time.

“A journey that should normally take like four hours from Lamu to Malindi has been taking more than eight hours. It has been very difficult to plan your day while travelling because we ended up arriving very late but with the new road, we are able to shuttle to and from Lamu without a worry,” said Halima Athman.

Mukhtar Ali said “Many people don’t actually know that with a good road, you can actually travel out of Lamu and back on the same day. It’s very much possible.