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Shipping & Logistics

Treasury on the spot over failure to release Sh600m for Lamu jetties

Lamu jetty
A section of Lamu jetty under construction. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The National Treasury is on the spot for failing to release Sh600 million for rehabilitation of key jetties in Lamu County.

Jetties in Lamu are the only entry and exit points to Lamu town and other adjacent islands.

Most of the jetties are structurally unsound due to lack of maintenance.

In August, the Mtangawanda Jetty in Lamu East was in the news after a pontoon detached from its piles and went floating around the Indian Ocean posing a danger to navigation.

The exact location of the pontoon still remains unknown.

In July, the government said it had released Sh130 million to renovate four of the Lamu jetties but work is yet to start.

Speaking to journalists after visiting all the jetties in Lamu town, Manda, Mokowe and Mtangawanda, Parliamentary Committee on Transport and Infrastructure chairman David Pkosing expressed concern over the Treasury’s failure to fund the repair of the Lamu jetties.

Mr Pkosing, who is the Pokot South MP, said all the jetties in the region were in a dilapidated state and added that besides the Treasury, the Public Works ministry was also to blame for failing to ensure the jetties are in good condition and the general maintenance. He was accompanied by other committee members including Sotik MP Dominic Koskei, Buuri MP Rindikiri Mugambi and Kitutu Masaba MP Shadrack Mose,.

Mr Pkosing lamented that the bad state of the jetties is posing danger to travellers, especially those living with disabilities.

“Lamu jetties are crucial. They act as the only access points for travellers and goods to and from the various islands and the mainland areas. It’s unfortunate that Lamu residents, especially travellers continue to suffer because we have failed to ensure that our infrastructure is well maintained,” Mr Pkosing said.

“We are likely to summon Public Works PS to shed light as to why no funds have been disbursed for the repair of the Lamu jetties since 2016.” s

Mr Koskei, who is a civil engineer, said the repair and rehabilitation of the jetties is likely to cost the taxpayer more money now that they have been left to degenerate into the current level of disrepair.

“It’s unfortunate that the jetties have been left to crumble,” said Mr Koskei.

Lamu East MP Athman Sharif pointed out that the state of the Lamu jetties has greatly contributed to infrastructural challenges which are likely to affect future investments in the county.

He cited the recent move by Zarara Oil and Gas Company, which is currently carrying out gas drilling in Pate, to construct its own jetty to aid in movement of equipment for the drilling work.

“The company had to construct its own landing site-jetty to aid in bringing equipment due to the poor state in which the current Mtangawanda Jetty is in. The government should speed up construction of our jetties or else this will directly affect development and any other investments in our region,” said Mr Sharif.

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