The Kenya National Highway Authority (KeNHA) Director General Eng. Peter M. Mundinia says volcanic activity at Suswa area caused a section of the Mai Mahiu-Narok road to sink, and not floods as has been reported by a section of the media.
Speaking at the scene, where the crevasse formed Wednesday, Eng. Mundinia said a road contractor has already been deployed to the area to construct makeshift bypasses, which will see transport operations resume on the busy highway.
“The Mai Mahiu-Narok road was damaged as a result of volcanic activity. We can say rains catalysed the destruction. However, nobody can tell why the volcanic activity happened in that manner. If the development was caused by water alone, then we would have seen the road being cut, but not to the extent of this fault line. As you are aware, Suswa is in the Rift Valley, and volcanic activities are still taking place in the Rift. We cannot be sure that tomorrow volcanic activities will take place in Suswa, it could be somewhere else,” said Eng. Mundinia.
Eng. Mundinia says no casualty has been reported, though a vehicle fell into the ravine. The occupants of the vehicle were, however, rescued.
“We have a performance-based contractor on the ground, who informed motorists and travelers about the development at Suswa when it happened. They managed to seal off the road so as to save lives.”
The KeNHA Director General further stated that plans are underway to reconstruct the road, which he says, will be complete in the next 48 hours.
“We will fill up the fault line, beginning with the carriageway so as to restore transport operations on the Mai Mahiu-Narok road. Later on, we will tarmac the road.”
Infrastructure Principal Secretary, Julius Korir, who was present at Suswa Wednesday morning, reiterated Eng. Mundinia’s remarks.
“As a ministry and as a Government, we will ensure that disruptions are minimal and people are able to move. At least within the next 48 hours, travelers and motorists would be able to use this (Mai Mahiu-Narok) road,” said Mr Korir.
“So far, we have created two bypasses, which vehicles can use to travel toward and from Narok. In the next two to three hours, transport operations toward and away from Narok would have resumed fully. We have hired a contractor to ensure the bypasses are safe for use,” added the PS at 12noon Wednesday, March 14.
KeNHA boss, Eng. Mundinia, said repair of the affected four-meter section of the Mai Mahiu-Narok road will cost around Ksh1 million.
“We haven’t gotten an exact estimate of the amount of money we will use on repairs, but it won’t be a hefty cost. What we need to do is fill up the ravine using gravel before tamarcking the road. For the time being, we can roughly estimate the repair to cost Ksh1 million,” he said.
Motorists were advised to use alternate routes early Wednesday before bypasses were constructed over the crevasses.
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