Lamu leaders mount pressure on Lamu Witu Road contractor to begin road works
The Works on the Sh. 10.8 billion Lamu-Witu road has started following sustained pressure by local leaders on the contractor, who had delayed the project for two years over insecurity fears.
The H-Young Road and Public Works Contractors who were awarded the tender in early 2016, was expected to be completed next year. However, the contractor has often cited the prevailing insecurity situation in the county as being the reason behind his delay.
The project, financed by the national government is expected to give the existing earth/gravel road a much needed facelift to the bitumen standard, which will run from MinJilla intersection to Mokowe jetty.
Speaking to KNA on Wednesday, Lands and Infrastructure CEC, Fahima Araphat stated that the county government has taken the contractor to task over continued delay.
“If it is a question of security for their equipment, the national and county government is prepared to deploy at least 300 security officers to provide security,” Araphat stated.
She further revealed that based on her meeting with the H-Young contractors, the project will take two years to complete.
Fahima intimated that road works are underway based on a detailed design of the 113 kilometer road.
She said that the county government has the political will and the President’s backing to have the Lamu road completed, which she said is in the best interest of not only boosting Lamu’s economy but also improve security.
“It is unfortunate that the poor road network continues to hamper Lamu county from maximizing its potential based on the projects that are in the county of national interest, such as LAPSSET and the Lamu coal plant, which will need a good road network to attract private sector investors,” the county executive stated.
A spot check by KNA along the Lamu-Witu road revealed that road works are indeed on going with bush clearing currently underway.
Ali Kirume, a Tawakal bus driver who spoke to KNA commended the move by the national government to ensure that road works are done.
He further said that the transport sector in Lamu has long suffered because of the poor state of the Lamu-Witu road.
“The road works are encouraging, especially for transporters and drivers who use the highway every day despite the heavy toll on our vehicles,” Abdi stated.
Sylvester Ngomeni, a trucker who spoke separately, said that he hopes that road works will be sustained following assurances by the Lamu West MP that road will be completed in three years.
By Amenya Ochieng