Traffic flow resumes on Iten-Kabarnet road after mudslide


An excavator clears sludge at Kamok area on the Iten-Kabarnet road in Elgeyo Marakwet County on March 24, 2023, following a mudslide caused by a heavy downpour on Thursday, which had rendered the road impassable.

Photo credit: Jared Nyataya | Nation Media Group

Transport along the Iten-Kabarnet road was cut off on Thursday night following a mudslide that was caused by a heavy downpour that pounded the region.

Traffic flow has since resumed on the road that connects Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet and Uasin Gishu counties after Kenya National Highways Authority (Kenha) engineers and Elgeyo Marakwet county government cleared sludge resulting from the mudslide that occurred at Kamok area, blocking the road and paralysing transport.

The heavy Thursday evening downpour lasted three hours, causing the mudslide that caught motorists unawares.

The sludge blocked the entire road near Tambach, about 14 kilometres from Iten.

Kenha working with the Elgeyo Marakwet County government used excavators to clear the road, offering relief to stranded motorists on Friday.

Most had to find alternative routes to their destinations on Thursday night- through Eldoret-Nyaru-Emsea-Kabarnet or Eldoret-Ravine-Kabarnet.

The Iten-Kabarnet road is an important transport connection between Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet and Uasin Gishu counties.

On Friday morning, an excavator on sight had managed to clear one lane of the road, allowing the motorists to use it interchangeably.

“It rained for three hours nonstop and that is what caused the mudslide. The rains have just started and what will happen when it rains continuously for a month? There is a need to grow more trees along the escarpments,” said Edwin Kiptoo, a motorist.

Kenha said its performance-based contractors (PBC) for the road had mobilised machines on Thursday night to remove the debris, an exercise that was hampered slightly by the rainfall and the near-zero visibility.