By Fumo Mzalendo
Residents of Pate Island in Lamu East constituency say they are tired of their current leaders for failing to address the deplorable conditions of roads that connect them with the rest of the region.
Their largest concern is over the 32 kilometer long Mtangawanda-Kizingitini road that serves the archipelago.
A Faza area resident, Talhatha Ali, for instance, says the residents have that road as the only link.
However, the road has never been properly graded or refurbished even though it remains singled out priority by all locals.
He said: “It is now four years since we started calling it’s attention.
“The only works that have ever been done on the road were by Zarara Oil and Gas when they were seeking to explore gas in Pate three years ago. Some grading was done.”
The resident lamented that the area MP has severally promises action on the road but their wait continues.
He said the state of road becomes deplorable during the rainy season despite yet it is classified as a priority project in Lamu East.
Lamu East Constituency does not have a single inch of tarmac road.
Fatma Omar, also a Pate resident, revealed there has been no public participation, by either the area MP or county government in regard to upgrading of the Mtangawanda-Pate road.
The Mtangawanda-Kizingitini road is classified as a Kenya Rural Roads Authority designated road.
In a letter dated February 8 2022 KeRRA awarded Swavae Construction Limited a tender of Kshs 6,412,480 to carry out a spot improvement of the same road, which residents are questioned as to whether it was done at all.
Efforts to reach KeRRa officials over the status of the road proved futile with call going unanswered.
Ms Fatuma added that the poor state of the road has not only increased the rate of accidents but has also interfered with their daily lives because of the impassable road.
“You find that it is a challenge travelling, especially for pregnant women and even the elderly along this road, especially now that it is the rainy season,” Omar said.
Another local Ms Tina Bakari from Rasini village blamed the area MP for not applying pressure on the national government to ensure that the road is up to standard.”
Bakari also noted that apart from the rise in boda boda accidents pregnant women have also lost their unborn babies when plying along the rough road.
Lamu Women Representative Ruweida Obo who also spoke to the media in Lamu over the poor state of the road lamented that the current MP had failed the accountability test.
“Pate Island’s economy has stagnated due to poor leadership that is exhibited by the indifference of the local MP towards upgrading the Mtangawanda-Kizingitini road” she said.
She called on residents to be wary of leaders who have the political will to make a difference for their constituencies.
Idris Babu, a local businessman based in Siyu, also disclosed that despite the area MP always touting that refurbishment works are underway nothing is being done to ensure that the road is upgraded.
“Going forward there is a need to elect leaders who keep with their promises and ensure that the road is upgraded to the level that is present all across Lamu West and the rest of the country,” Idris said.
Caption by Fumo Mzalendo
Images of sections of the Mtangawanda-Pate road that residents say has been in deplorable state during rainy seasons.