Reconstruction of Kakamega Airstrip by the National Government, is now complete and is set for commissioning by May this year.
According to Kakamega County Commissioner, John Ondego, the Airstrip is 99.1 percent complete, with taxi-way markings expected to be completed in the next few weeks ready for operation.
The County Commissioner, while chairing the County Development and Implementation Coordination Committee (CDICC) meeting at the planning hall in Kakamega, said the National Government has spent over Sh155 million for the works, adding that the facility is expected to open up the Western Kenya region.
The Officer-In-Charge of the Airstrip, Jackson Wanyonyi, said the Airstrip will be able to accommodate four planes of Dash 7 Q 300 and Dash 7 Q 100, with a capacity of 40 passengers each, translating to 160 passengers at any given time.
According to the Officer, reconstruction works included a new runway of 1.28 kms, a new apron, perimeter fence and a patrol road.
“The runway will be extended for another 800 metres and the Kenya Civil Aviation is in the process of acquiring additional land for the purpose,” he added.
At the same time, a government multi-sectoral team is engaging the local community neighboring the airstrip, with a view to cut down overgrown trees that may pose a danger to flights.
Meanwhile, the County Commissioner has directed that no new kiosks should be constructed along footpaths, along the hot spot area on the Kakamega highway at Sigalagala and Khayega markets.
Ondego said already the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) has issued eviction notices to those who are obstructing the highway to prevent increased road accidents on the road.
He said KeNHA will construct footpaths along the section for pedestrians to help tame a number of accidents that have been witnessed, especially involving students from Sigalagala National Polytechnic.
Ondego also directed KeNHA to reconstruct drainage systems along Kisumu- Kakamega highway, noting that some sections are exposed, hence endangering the lives of both motorists and pedestrians.
By George Kaiga