By Fumo Mzalendo
Lamu East leaders have raised concerns after it was revealed that funds designated for the much-needed Hindi Kiunga Road had been diverted for political reasons to build the Mtangawanda Island Road in Pate Island.
The 38-kilometre Mtangawanda Road with an estimated cost of Sh2 billion, launched last week by President William Ruto, has sparked outrage from a section of Lamu East leaders and leaders.
Former Kiunga Ward MCA Sheikh Babaad expressed concern over the neglected Hindi Kiunga Road which has long been perceived as a security risk due to incidents of violence and loss of lives, including improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
Babaad stressed that constructing the Hindi Kiunga Road would not only address security concerns in the area and lead up to the Kiunga border, but also facilitate trade and businesses at the border point connecting Kenya to Somalia in the south.
He added misallocation of funds for numerous resources meant for development such as building a secondary boarding school for the Boni community and Kiunga residents to Kizingitini had been diverted.
Criticizing the lack of representation for Kiunga residents, he pointed out the neglected Mkokoni Kiunga Road, which remains undeveloped despite its importance, was a security risk.
“The current county assembly’s lack of effort in advocating for better roads, especially in Lamu East, is concerning as we don’t have a single inch of tarmac in our region,” he said adding the need for immediate action from both local and national authorities.
Barsuba MCA Deko Barisa echoed similar sentiments highlighting the deteriorating condition of roads leading to the Boni area.
He said that adequate infrastructure, particularly security roads was essential to combat criminal attacks in the Boni area and the entire Lamu West region.
“We urge the national government to allocate funds specifically for security roads.”
Through improving road infrastructure, the fight against criminal activities would be easy to contain in the region, he said and calling for urgent attention to the issue.
The diversion of funds meant for vital infrastructure projects have not gone well with Lamu residents. They are now calling for transparency, accountability, and immediate action from the concerned authorities to address the pressing issues raised by the communities.