Mombasa needs Sh10b for roads to solve transport crisis - Daily Nation

Coast town requires over Sh10b for roads to solve transport crisis

Thursday December 1 2011

Gideon Maundu | NATION Motorists at Jomvu on the Mombasa-Nairobi Highway. This badly damaged  section  has been causing nightmares to motorists  who spend hours on end in jams.

Gideon Maundu | NATION Motorists at Jomvu on the Mombasa-Nairobi Highway. This badly damaged section has been causing nightmares to motorists who spend hours on end in jams. 

By MATHIAS RINGA [email protected]

At least Sh10 billion is required for the rehabilitation of roads and the implementation of new projects to handle the transport crisis in Mombasa.

Town Clerk Tubmun Otieno said the transport woes can be sorted out if the government ploughs in Sh10 billion for the repair of bad roads and the construction of dual carriageways, flyovers and underground tunnels in the town.

He noted that the government has not given Mombasa due attention yet Treasury rakes in billions of shillings in revenue from the port and the tourism industry in the county.

“But despite being the goose that lays the golden egg, the roads are in complete disrepair, no dual carriageways, flyovers or underground tunnels though the number of road users continue to soar,” he explained.

Mr Otieno noted that more than 10,000 trucks, 5,000 matatus and other vehicles use the roads daily because of the busy port activities, tourism and other industries.

The existing infrastructure, he said, can no longer cope with the huge number of trucks coming from Nairobi and other countries like Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.

“We require a dual carriageway from Moi International Airport to the town to beat the heavy traffic jams. The section of road from Jomvu and Miritini needs urgent fixing,” he added.

Mr Otieno said the infrastructural challenge in the town was enormous, adding that the Kenya Urban Roads Authority lacks the capacity deal with the problem.

“The roads challenge require substantial funding from the Central government as Kura lacks the financial muscle,” he said.

Matatu Owners Welfare Association national vice-chairman Ali Bates said its members have suffered huge losses in repairing vehicles broken down by the pot-holed roads.

Mr Bates added that several matatus have been involved in accidents trying to avoid the large potholes.

“Several passengers have suffered injuries due to the effects of worn-out roads while businesses have plummeted as a result of long delays on the roads,” he said.

Mr Bates asked the government to address the issue to ease transport in the town.

A Mombasa transporter, Mr Mustapha Issa, said he was incurring huge losses on repair of trucks.

On Wednesday, Mayor Ahmed Mohdhar said driving in Mombasa had become a “terrible nightmare” and urged Kura to repair the roads.

“We have come under siege over the bad state of roads yet it’s Kura which is supposed to repair them,” Mr Mohdhar said exonerating the council from blame.

The losses are in the form of fuel wasted on heavy traffic jams, constant vehicle repairs and delays in delivering goods to markets.

The island’s roads in Majengo, King’orani, Tononoka, Tudor, Bondeni and Mbaraki have large pot-holes.

Kura director-general Joseph Nkadayo on a tour of Mombasa in September said they had set aside money to rehabilitate the roads.

Mr Nkadayo said in the 2010/2011 financial year the government allocated Sh240 million for the repair of roads in Mombasa, Kilifi and Voi towns, while in 2011/2012, Sh282 million was allocated for rehabilitation of the roads.

Mombasa and Coast Tourist Association executive officer Millicent Odhiambo said the tourism sector was suffering.

Asking the government to address the situation, she said that the traffic jams made tourists miss flights back home while businesses and motorists incurred losses.