The National Treasury is on the spot for failing to disburse funds for jetties rehabilitation in Lamu.
Speaking after a tour of all the jetties in Lamu yesterday, the Parliamentary Select Committee on Transport and Infrastructure criticised Treasury for holding onto the Sh600 million.
The funds were awarded in 2016. Jetties are a vital element of Lamu’s transport as they are the main entry and exit points to Lamu town and adjacent islands.
All major jetties are structurally unsound because of poor maintenance. Last month,a pontoon detached from its piles at Mtangawanda jetty in Lamu East. It disappeared into the Indian Ocean. The pontoon has never been recovered and the Kenya Maritime Authority office warning it’s a navigation risk.
In July, the national government said Sh130 million was released upfront to oversee renovation of four jetties. The work is yet to start.
Committee chairman, who is also Pokot South MP, David Pkosing said the team questioned why Treasury is taking long to release the funds.
Pkosing partially blamed the Public Works ministry for not following up to ensure the jetties are well maintained. “People don’t understand how dangerous the state of these jetties is.We shouldn’t wait until it turns into a disaster and lives are lost for us to act.People are risking their lives daily having to use the jetties in their current condition.”
Pkosing said the committee will summon the Public Works PS to shade light on why the funds have not been disbursed since 2016. The legislator was accompanied by other committee members including Sotik MP Dominic Koskei, Buuri MP Rindikiri Mugambi and Kitutu Masaba lawmaker Shadrack Mose.