The Lamu West CDF is set to spend Kshs 12 million to build an 8 kilometer concrete paving block (cabro) road connecting Matondoni area to Amu Old Town.
The two months project which was delayed due to the COVID-19 crisis and will be undertaken by Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRa).
The road when fully completed is expected to open up access to Matondoni area where boda boda operators were charging more than Kshs 500 to ferry commuters from Amu Old town due to lack of a viable road while a private boat charged more than Kshs 2,000 for a one way trip.
A public boat which was the only affordable means levies Kshs 200 amid expectation that the afres t could drop to as low as Kshs 100 when the road is operational.
Speaking to KNA during launch of the road construction Lamu West Deputy County Commissioner Louis Rono hailed the road as a welcome initiative that will not only open up Matondoni area to the wider Amu area but will also improve security in the area.
“Response to Human wildlife conflicts particularly, hyena attacks on donkeys and livestock will be quicker with the road being built, as KWS will now easily access the area,” he quipped.
Hyena attacks on livestock are common in Matondoni area, with KWS response time to such cases criticised in the past for being too slow due to inaccessibility to the area.
Ronoh also said that the road would improve overall security in the area with the expectation that once the road is complete street lighting will follow.
“Matondoni which is an agricultural village will now have easier and faster access to the Lamu old town, to sell their produce,” Ronoh added.
He warned residents to avoid encroaching on road reserves adding that those found culpable would be prosecuted.
Sentiments echoed by KeRRA roads officer Leonard Ouma who urged residents to refrain from building on road reserves in the hope of future compensation.
He said that there will be no compensation for those found to have encroached on road reserves and would have their structures demolished.
Ouma also said that the road was being built in response to the growing needs of the Amu Island to be better connected, and that it is in the interest of all residents to adhere to the road reserves design and desist from encroaching.
Matondoni resident Fatma Bwanamzee said that the cabro road will benefit expectant women and the sick access the King Fahad referral hospital easily and affordably.
“Matondoni though in Amu Island has long been marginalised from the rest of Amu Old town, but with the new road the area will expand,” Jurmy Athman a former area chief intimated.
Lamu West MP Stanley Muthama who spoke to KNA on phone said that the Matondoni-Amu Old Town road had been in the cards since his election and was a pledge he made to residents that he would ensure it was made during his tenure.
By Amenya Ochieng