Emergency repairs are underway on key roads damaged by the ongoing heavy rains and floods in various parts of the country.
Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen has consequently appointed the Kenya National Highway Authority (KeNHA) to be the lead agency in the coordination of all the intervention works in efforts to ensure traffic is restored as quickly as possible.
The authority will also coordinate and ensure the issuance of public notices to all motorists, clearly identifying the affected sections.
“I request all motorists and road users to adhere to these road advisories issued against affected sections of our roads and to avoid any attempts to cross flooded road sections. The above measures, once fully implemented, will reduce damage, fix destroyed infrastructure and protect lives” the CS said in a statement.
The CS regretted the rains have caused havoc to major roads with reports indicating major disruptions in some areas especially North Eastern, Lower Eastern and the Coast regions being the hardest hit.
Already contractors are on site repairing the damaged roads and desilting to ensure transport resumes in affected areas.
“I have received updates concerning the state of road infrastructure across the country. The heavy rains have led to road cut-offs in various areas and sections, thus disrupting traffic flow due to road washouts, and extensive silting that have rendered some roads impassable” the CS said.
“We are using contractors already on site in undertaking the emergency works in the affected roads. However, we have also put on high alert other nearby contractors for assistance in the restoration works once the water subsides” he added.
Murkomen who urged drivers to exercise caution while plying our roads especially those that cut across rivers and areas prone to flooding assured his Ministry was on high alert and working closely with all road agencies to ensure restoration of road infrastructure damaged by the heavy rains, and restore normalcy within the shortest time possible.
“The Ministry and all the road agencies are fully apprised of the situation and various mitigative measures have been deployed to remedy the situation. We are closely monitoring all roads across the country, and have stepped up our efforts in managing traffic flow in affected areas through various interventions, including issuing road usage advisories as and when necessary” he noted.
With several deaths reported across the country, the CS condoled with bereaved families adding that the Ministry is collating data to ascertain the same.
The Kenya Meteorological Department has warned that heavy rainfall is expected to continue in most parts of the country from November 2023.
In the latest forecast, Met also said it anticipated a reduction in spatial coverage and rainfall amounts during the latter half of the forecast period.
The weatherman said isolated storms may occur in specific regions, including the Highlands East and West of the Rift Valley, the South-eastern lowlands, and the Coast.
The floods that have submerged Elwak and Mandera towns have destroyed eight key roads namely Isiolo – Marsabit (A2) Road, Wamba – Lareta (B121) Road, Marsabit – North Horr (B75) Road, Nuno – Modogashe (A13) Road.
Others are Modogashe – Wajir (A13) Road, Garissa – Sareto – Dadaab (A3) Road, Isiolo – Kulamawe – Modogashe (B84) Road and Elwak – Lafey – Mandera (B95) Road.