More than Sh2 billion will be required to restore physical infrastructure destroyed by the ongoing floods in Tana River County, an official has said.
The Tana River County Director of Special Programmes, Mr. Sokorote Mavuwe, said a lot of physical infrastructure had been destroyed by the floods that have displaced more than half the county’s population.
“The extent of the damage is yet to be ascertained, but what has already been destroyed could cost upwards of Sh2 billion to restore,” he said on phone.
Mr. Mavuwe, who has been coordinating rescue missions in the county, said most roads had been destroyed and would require fixing.
Among the damaged roads are the Bura-Madogo section of the Mombasa-Garissa Highway (B89), which has been rendered impassable after five sections were swept away by floods almost one month ago.
County Roads and Public Works Executive Stephen Wachira says four bridges will have to be constructed across the damaged sections before the road can be re-opened.
He says the County Government would partner with the Kenya National Highways Authority to build the bridges when the floods subside.
Mavuwe on his part said most of the unclassified roads in the county had been washed away by floods, hence the County Government would be obliged to draw a budget for their renovations.
“We have incurred huge losses as a county and the situation could be worse following a decision to release water from the Seven Folks dams,” he said.
He said the County Government would also be required to rebuild classrooms and supply farm inputs including seeds and fertilizers to farmers whose farms have been submerged.
“We are still receiving reports of damages from the field and we will have to handle them or else we will have to deal with poverty, hunger and malnutrition, “he said.
He said the County Government would also be required to resettle people on higher grounds and this could also cost millions.
“So far the County has spent more than Sh100 million to purchase rescue motor boats, relief food and non food items for the victims of floods,” he said.
According to Governor Dhadho Godhana, the county is strained financially as the National Treasury has not released Sh2.3 billion to the county.
Of this amount, Dr. Godhana says Sh1.7 billion would settle debts, leaving his administration with only Sh800 million this financial year.
That means the funds needed would have to be sourced elsewhere, including national and international development partners.
By Emmanuel Masha