Murkomen: We need up to Sh30 billion to repair flood-damaged infrastructure

Kipchumba Murkomen

Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen addresses journalists at the ministry’s headquarters in Nairobi.

Photo credit: Wilfred Nyangaresi | Nation Media Group

Up to Sh30 billion is needed to rehabilitate critical infrastructure, including roads and bridges, destroyed by raging floods across the country, the Ministry of Roads and Transport has estimated.

Speaking in Lamu during the assessment of the Gamba section of the Lamu-Witu-Garsen road destroyed by floods on Wednesday, Roads and Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen said they have completed the assessment and come up with the estimates.

Mr Murkomen said his ministry would soon begin discussions with Parliament to allocate the necessary funds.

The CS acknowledged that the floods had caused great economic loss to the country.

He noted that in addition to disrupting the movement of people and goods within the country, the floods have caused massive loss of life and even damaged roads.

In Lamu, the damage has made it difficult to move goods out of Lamu Port in Kililana at a time when the port was beginning to receive goods destined for Ethiopia.

Central, Rift Valley, Nyanza and Western regions

Other regions where floods have damaged key infrastructure include the Tana River and parts of Central, Rift Valley, Nyanza and Western regions.

"Today, we're in Lamu. We've assessed the state of the Gamba section. The volume of the water and the depth of the flow are still high, making it impossible for vehicles to pass. We're in talks with Parliament to have all critical infrastructure destroyed by floods repaired. We need between Sh25 billion to Sh30 billion to undertake full reconstruction and repair of the damaged infrastructure across the country," said Mr Murkomen.

He said the floods that destroyed the Gamba section of the Lamu-Witu-Garsen road were exacerbated by the overflow from the Seven Folks Dam upstream.

Experts expect the situation to remain like this for some time before reconstruction work begins.

Currently, travellers along the Lamu-Witu-Garsen route are forced to use canoes to connect and complete their journeys from Mombasa to Lamu and vice versa.

"We really appreciate the private sector for providing the boats and for adhering to safety standards even as we look for a solution," said Mr Murkomen.

Mr Murkomen said the ministry is looking at alternative routes to address the problem even as it prepares to start restoring critical infrastructure across the country.