Nairobi – The Kenya National Highway Authority (KeNHA) has implemented a 24-hour surveillance system for major roads in the Coast region to ensure the safety of road users amid severe El-Niño rains. This initiative comes as a response to the recent floods that have resulted in the loss of lives and damage to properties in the area.
According to Kenya News Agency, Senior Engineer of KeNHA's Coast Region, Peter Maruti, stated that this surveillance is crucial in maintaining passable roads during the ongoing rains. In Mombasa County, particularly at the Makupa causeway, which often experiences flooding and causes delays, KeNHA has undertaken measures to increase the capacity of inlets and resolve drainage issues within six hours. Maruti noted that even during the recent heavy rains, which caused widespread flooding in Mombasa County, this section remained unaffected.
In Kilifi County, KeNHA is near completion of a 100-metre bridge that is four metres higher than the existing Mbogolo bridge, to prevent similar flood-related issues. This new bridge, which is 95 percent complete, is expected to open to traffic by the end of December. The necessity for this project was underscored by a recent heavy rainfall in Kilifi County, which caused the overtopping of the Mbogolo bridge and washout of its approaches.
Maruti clarified that the damage was to the approaches of the bridge, not the bridge itself. The affected sections were quickly repaired by the contractor, restoring traffic within 24 hours. In Kwale County, the Ramisi and Perani bridges were also affected by the rains. The Ramisi bridge became passable overnight after the water subsided, while the Perani bridge suffered minor damages. Repairs are underway and expected to be completed soon, although traffic movement remains unaffected.
KeNHA has commended the prompt response of contractors during these challenging times and is committed to maintaining vigilance on the roads. Maruti emphasized the importance of quick information dissemination to the public and preparedness for any emergencies that may arise, especially as the rains are expected to continue through January.