LOSSES

Rains, landslides have caused Sh2bn roads destruction - KenNHA

In Summary

• Wangai Ndirangu of the Kenya National Highways Authority told reporters his engineers have repaired only a quarter of the mess and spent Sh500 million.

• Some of the key repairs were in West Pokot landslide and Narok, where a major road was cut off. Kenha officers cleared the debris and got traffic back on in three and five days respectively.

 

Kenha officials inspect a section of Thika Murang'a Nyeri road commonly known as Nyoka Nyoka road that has sunk for the second time in three years at Kanjama in Mathioya.
Kenha officials inspect a section of Thika Murang'a Nyeri road commonly known as Nyoka Nyoka road that has sunk for the second time in three years at Kanjama in Mathioya.
Image: Alice Waithera
Kenha officials inspect a section of Thika Murang'a Nyeri road commonly known as Nyoka Nyoka road that has been destroyed by earth movements at Kariua in Kandara.
Kenha officials inspect a section of Thika Murang'a Nyeri road commonly known as Nyoka Nyoka road that has been destroyed by earth movements at Kariua in Kandara.
Image: Alice Waithera
A section of Thika Murang'a Nyeri road commonly known as Nyoka Nyoka road that has been destroyed by earth movements at Kariua in Kandara.
A section of Thika Murang'a Nyeri road commonly known as Nyoka Nyoka road that has been destroyed by earth movements at Kariua in Kandara.
Image: Alice Waithera

Torrential rains and storms  have destroyed Sh2 billion worth of road network.

Wangai Ndirangu of the Kenya National Highways Authority told reporters his engineers have repaired only a quarter of the mess and spent Sh500 million.

He told  motorists, bus and matatu drivers that an emergency quick response team has been sent out to monitor affected roads and do quick repairs.

Some of the key repairs were in West Pokot landslide and Narok, where a major road was cut off. Kenha officers cleared the debris and got traffic back on in three and five days respectively.

“We are also closely monitoring the damages being occasioned by floods in Garissa and the coastal parts of the country,” he said.

He, however, noted that the level of destruction is unprecedented and has stretched authority to the limit.

Ndirangu, who led a team of engineers to inspect the  Thika-Murang’a-Nyeri Road commonly known as Nyoka Nyoka road on Friday said the authority has dispatched its officers to ensure affected roads are made motorable as fast as possible.

Nyoka Nyoka road, he said, was closed down two weeks ago after earth movements destroyed it in two sections.

The first part is in Kariua area in Kandara subcounty, where huge numerous cracks emerged, making it unusable.

The cracks also extended into adjacent farms affecting about 10 homesteads.

The second part is in Kanjama area in Mathioya subcounty, where the road has sunk in a section repaired last year.

The repairs were completed in October after it sunk again in mid-2018 at a cost of Sh75 million.

This has caused panic among locals who fear the road may cause more earth movements, which may trigger landslides in their farms.

Every time the road sinks, it raises their farms and causes underground water to flow in streams that did not exist before.

“Kanjama area has experienced repeated challenges over the last three years but we have realised in both cases, the damages have been occasioned by land-use problem and not a construction failure because there are cracks extending up to 500 metres into farms,” he said.

He, however, pointed out that the authority is partnering with other government agencies, including the department of Meteorology and Geology, and university experts to find a solution that will ensure the challenges are resolved permanently.

Mundinia urged motorists to exercise caution, especially when driving during rains, saying the rampant earth movement may cause loss of life.

Edited by E.Kibii