NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 21 – The Ministry of Roads has expressed concerns over recklessness on Kenyan highways.
In an interview with Capital FM News, Roads Permanent Secretary Engineer Michael Kamau said speeding and drink-driving have led to serious accidents that cause extensive damage to road works.
“Kenyans continue to die on our roads. We improve the roads but the speeds increase… we have accidents leading to fatalities. Drink-driving is a serious problem. It is important for Kenyans to know these roads belong to us and they are the backbone of the economy. Let’s take care of them. Imagine if someone is visiting you and tells you, ‘your roads are like a road to hell’, you would not feel happy. So use the roads properly,” he advised.
Kamau further decried that vandalism is a serious impediment in construction and management of roads and explained that the ministry was losing a lot of money replacing vandalised metal rails on the roads.
“We try to nail poles down, fix them very strongly, but people come and remove them. They are stealing our guard rails everywhere. I don’t know what they use to remove them,” he wondered.
The PS also complained about overloading which he said was forcing the ministry to spend too much money on repairs instead of making new roads.
He regretted that the problem has been rampant yet transport companies continue to break axle load limit rules.
However he expressed optimism that the concerned stakeholders will come up with a solution to stop overloading.
Kamau further said the ministry also was working on the construction of the Mombasa Southern by-pass which includes a 1.4 kilometre bridge across the water to the Mombasa Port.
He said once complete the bridge will serve the new container terminal at the Mombasa port.
“We signed the loan agreement with the Japanese government to fund the Dogo Kudu by pass. It is going to serve the new container terminal. It is very complex project, so the preparations are intricate because we are going over the sea. There are a lot of detailed designs required,” he said.
The construction of the Sh28.8 billion bypass is aimed at decongesting the city of Mombasa by providing an alternative to the Likoni ferry crossing, by linking the mainland with the South Coast.
Kamau added that the Thika Superhighway was complete with a few final touches still going on, which include putting up more foot bridges and signage poles.