Lamu jetties to be repaired

Transport and Infrastructure Principle Secretary Paul Maringa during the tour./NATASHA NEMA

Lamu, KENYA: The national government has finally disbursed sh.649 million to be used to rehabilitate and reconstruct four key Lamu jetties that have been dilapidated for ages.

The announcement was made by Transport and Infrastructure Principle Secretary Paul Maringa when he toured Lamu to inspect the jetties on Wednesday.

Speaking during the tour, Maringa said the break down for monies has already been done and that the Mokowe Customs Jetty has been allocated sh.520 Million, Mtangawanda jetty gets sh.62 Million, Manda airport jetty gets sh.35 Million while sh.32 Million goes into the renovation of the Lamu Mangrove Customs Jetty.

Maringa said construction works on all the affected jetties commences in November this year.

He said the three smaller jetties, that is the Mtangawanda, Manda airport and the Lamu Jetty will all be ready by May 2019.

The Mokowe Customs Jetty which is the largest of all jetties in Lamu will be ready in two years time.

“We understand the need of jetties in Lamu and that’s why we are trying to speed up works because these are avenues used daily by people and unlike roads, you cant create a bypass when working on them and so that means, they must be ready soon and that’s our concern,” said Maringa.

The PS said advertisement and tendering works are already in progress and expressed confidence that they will have gotten the right company to take on the works by next month.

“All this will not just improve movement and transport for the people of Lamu. Once complete these jetties will change the appeal of Lamu, talk of increased investments and trade, talk about tourism growth and so forth,” he added.

Jetties are a crucial element of Lamu’s transport system as they are the main entry and exit points to Lamu town and adjacent islands.

However, all the major jetties in the county are currently structurally unsound following lack of consistent maintenance.

Last month,a pontoon detached from its piles at the dilapidated Mtangawanda jetty in Lamu East and disappeared into the Indian Ocean.

It has never been recovered and the Kenya Maritime Authority-KMA office has warned that it’s a danger to navigation in the region.