At least 10,000 passports remain uncollected at the Eldoret regional immigration office and are at risk of being destroyed in the next three weeks if their owners don't collect them.
Two weeks ago, Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kandiki warned that passports must be collected within 30 days or they will be destroyed.
"All applicants must collect their passports; those who fail to collect them on time after the deadline will be treated as uncollected documents and we will dispose of them," Kindiki said while issuing a directive on the issuance and delivery of passports during the launch of the Rapid Result Initiative (RRI).
The CS warned that applicants whose passports would be destroyed would also have to re-apply and pay an undisclosed fine.
Currently, the Eldoret Regional Immigration Office, which has the second largest number of uncollected passports after Nairobi, has more than 10,000 passports awaiting collection from applicants.
"We have been working day and night after our CS launched RRI. As a regional office, we currently have more than 10,000 passports that are yet to be collected," said Maurice Anyanda, the deputy director of immigration in charge of North Rift and Western.
Anyanda said his officers have been working day and night to expedite the issuance of the vital travel documents in line with the CS directive.
Addressing new applicants who had gathered at the Eldoret office on Tuesday, Anyanda urged applicants to visit the office and collect the passports so that they could use them for the intended purpose.
He said the Eldoret office serves a large region, a possible reason for the large number of uncollected passports.
"My officers are working in shifts to reduce the backlog and it will be more encouraging and prudent for applicants to come and collect their passports after applying," said Anyanda.
Three weeks ago, the Ministry of Interior and National Administration announced that more than 87,000 passports were yet to be collected across the country.
Kindiki said that as of last month, 87,574 passports had been produced and were ready for collection, most of them at Nyayo House.
According to the ministry's statistics, Nairobi leads the way with more than 40,000 uncollected passports.
Other regions with large numbers of uncollected passports include Embu regional office, Kisumu, Nakuru, Kisii and Mombasa.
Members of the public who came to collect their passports at the Eldoret office applauded the Immigration department for dealing with the backlog, which has been a nightmare for years.
"I applied for this passport a month ago and now I have it, thank you for a good job," said Mercy Ewatoi from Turkana, who had come to collect her passport at the Eldoret regional office.
Ewatoi said that since the government introduced new measures to streamline services at the department, things were moving very fast.
"The new measures have greatly reduced the backlog that had plagued the department for many years," she said.