Motorists plying Mai Mahiu–Narok route have been assured of safety, despite major crackdowns that occurred along the highway, a fortnight ago, due to the heavy down pour being experienced in the area.
Director of Road maintenance, Engineer Njuguna Gatitu said they have put on standby professionals in the area to identify possible cracks, who will immediately direct the motorists to use either of the two alternative diversions that the department has identified.
“Motorists using this route should not be worried because we have two alternative diversions which the motorists can use in case the national calamity occurs again,” the Engineer said.
Eng. Gatitu assured the public that the road will not be closed again for more than three hours, as they are mapping possible force lines, and have put materials in place to refill any fault that could occur.
“We are getting a consultant to do mapping in this area, so as to advice us on whether to continue having the road here or deviate to another area,” he said.
He was speaking on Tuesday when Governors Samuel Tunai, Narok and Lee Kinyanjui, Nakuru visited the affected area that is six kilometres from Mai-Mahiu town.
Governor Tunai said the road affects the economy of Narok, as hundreds of tourists visiting Maasai Mara Game Reserve, business people and Narok residents use the road daily.
He however commended the Kenya National Highway Authority (KeNHA), for acting immediately when the fault occurred.
Tunai suggested that an alternative road from Mutarakwa to Maai Mahiu be made, to avoid future risks and delay at the escarpment that connects Mai -Mahiu and Limuru.
“The escarpment road is very slim and on some occasions, motorists spend over ten hours due to traffic snarl-up. The geologists should study this area and give us alternative solutions,” he said.
The Narok Governor also cautioned residents to be careful during this rainy season to avoid being carried away by flash floods, which he said, have so far carried away six people, in Narok.
Governor Kinyanjui said he will collaborate with Governor Tunai to ensure the road is passable at all times, despite the heavy rains as the road affects the two counties.
“We cannot do anything about the rains, but we can do something to ensure the fault lines do not affect the residents and tourism and other economic activities are not affected by the rains,” he said.
He said they will work with KeNHA and geologists to see how they can come up with long term solutions to address land issues, which he said has changed as people have cleared the bushes for farming.
“People have cleared their lands for farming and the changes could have affected the rains. We will work with geologists to advice us on how best we can use the land,” he said.
A fortnight ago, the road developed a crack, five kilometres from Maai Mahiu town, but Engineers from the China Communications Construction Company and KeNHA immediately embarked on major repairs of the road.
The busy road was totally cut off, with a fissure extending more than three kilometres upstream and 200 metres on the opposite end.
Former President Mwai Kibaki inaugurated the Mai Mahiu-Narok Road that connect Nairobi to the South rift, the world famous Maasai Mara game reserve, western Kenya and Luo Nyanza on August 26, 2011.