Flooding in Mombasa is expected to ease after the World Bank released funding for a storm water drainage system expected to cost Sh1.7 billion.
During heavy rains, the town is usually flooded because of poor drainage.
According to Mombasa town clerk Tubmun Otieno, the construction of the 34 kilometre drainage system started last month. The project, being undertaken by JUCA contractors, is expected to be completed in December next year.
Mr Otieno said this was one of the Kenya Municipal Projects being implemented in 15 local authorities with funding from the World Bank. Once completed, it will ease flooding in the island, Kisauni, Changamwe and Likoni areas.
“Floods occasioned by heavy rains have been a major challenge to the council over the years,” Mr Otieno said. “But through the World Bank funded project we expect flooding of residential areas, business premises and roads in the county to be minimised.”
On the other hand, the clerk said a 17-kilometre drainage project, which was funded by the Ministry of Local Government at a cost of Sh400 million, was completed last year.
The project, he said, covered some areas on the island, adding that its completion had helped fix flooding of roads and residential areas. He, however, warned residents against dumping waste into the drainage.
“Residents should stop empting raw sewage into the drainage system as such illegal acts pollutes the sea,” he said.
“Litter blocks the drainage system thereby affecting smooth flow of storm water,” he added.
Matatu Welfare Association secretary general Sammy Gitau welcomed the project saying during heavy rains, players in the matatu industry incur heavy losses when their vehicles break down as a result of flooded roads.
“We are glad that the council is putting up a new drainage system through the support from World Bank. The roads will be much safer when the project is completed,” he added.
Mombasa and Coast Tourist Association (MCTA) executive officer Millicent Odhiambo said ferrying of tourists to tourist hotspots in the county during the heavy rains season was a nightmare as some roads become flooded.
“The drainage project is very important for Mombasa. Holidaymakers are unable to enjoy their town tours while businesspeople have to endure flooded premises and lack of customers,” she lamented.