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Transport hit in Turkana as R. Turkwel sweeps away 2 trucks

Friday April 13 2018

River Turkwel

The two trailers that were swept away by River Turkwel. PHOTO | SAMMY LUTTA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

 SAMMY LUTTA
By SAMMY LUTTA
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Transport has been paralysed along the busy Kitale-Lodwar highway after River Turkwel burst its banks, sweeping away two trucks at the dangerous Kainuk drift.

The vehicles were heading to Lodwar from Kitale, Trans-Nzoia County.

15 HOURS

Mr Patrick Lokaapa, a Kainuk town resident, said one of the trucks was swept away on Friday morning while the other was overpowered by raging waters on Thursday evening.

So far, four lorries have been swept away at Kainuk since the heavy rains began to wreak havoc on Sunday.

Mr Lokaapa said most drivers often misjudge the intensity of water on the narrow drift before falling victims.

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"The drift was constructed last year by KeNHA for use by heavy commercial vehicles to reduce pressure on the existing bridge, currently left for light vehicles. It’s unreliable. We need a bridge at Kainuk," he said.

The bridge is critical infrastructure for Turkana County, which relies on neighbouring counties, especially Trans-Nzoia, for food.

Other essential goods are sourced from Kapenguria in West Pokot and Eldoret town in Uasin Gishu County.

On Sunday, transport along on  Lodwar-Lokichoggio highway was paralysed for more than 15 hours after Kawalase drift was flooded.

An Eldoret Express bus and double cabin pick-up were washed away and, fortunately, the public rescued all the more than 50 passengers, including children.

The Kenya National Highways Authority has cautioned motorists and locals to be cautious while approaching Kainuk, Kawalase and Kalemngorok drifts.

The agency warned drivers not to cross the drifts when they are flooded.

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