Lorry that overturned after hitting a huge pothole in Mombasa

Lorry whose cargo fell after hitting a huge pothole in Mombasa

The state of the roads following the heavy rains in Mombasa is dire. Roads that had been previously patched up now have massive water filled potholes that are a nuisance and sometimes dangerous to motorists. Some of the roads  that are in poor condition include the entire Lumumba Road in Island, Mombasa Malindi Road from Kongowea to Bombolulu, Jomvu Miritini Stretch along Mombasa Nairobi Highway and  Likoni – Ukunda Road for the first 5 km from Likoni.

Road users have taken to social media to voice their frustrations predictably all directed at the county government. To many, the poor state of the roads is down to poor maintenance practices by the county. However, many citizens do not know that responsibilities for roads in the county are shared between the County Government,  Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) and Kenya National Highways Authority (KENHA).

The quality of work done to repair the roads in Mombasa Island has been questioned by many as some of the roads were fixed less than a year ago. A resident, who works in transport lays all the blame on the authorities who are alleged to let contractors carry out shoddy repairs every time. He singles out Lumumba Road as the worst case.

“Contractors that have done these shoddy repairs are in business every year yet no one stops them for the poor job they do.”

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Transporters are bearing the brunt as their losses mount due to accidents, breakdowns and lost time. Motorists too have not been spared with many cars getting damaged and hours lost due to traffic jams around Mombasa. Caroline, a motorist who lives in Nyali, alleges

“The traffic jam in Mombasa is in some parts caused by the bad roads. For example around Bombolulu and some parts of town where massive potholes force drivers to drive very slowly lest they damage their cars.”

A Matatu operator in Bamburi says the poor state of the road especially on Kisauni – Kiembeni stretch is costing most operators dearly as their maintenance costs have sky rocketed. The previous contractor left the job incomplete after allegedly running out of funds. The county has now stepped in to complete the job.

Roads Mombasa Comment

Mombasa resident weighs on how infrastructural repairs should be prioritized.

Residents also feel that the road works are favoring wealthy neighborhoods at the expense of poorer more populated areas that have poorer roads. Arnold Raminya commenting on Facebook wrote,

How nice to see such standard of road in Nyali yet in Bamburi we have a farm for a road where is your bogus contractor by the name NJUCA ??? why such level of disparity in serving people of Mombasa county yet the amount paid in taxes should be used to serve everyone.”

For the road users in Mombasa, concrete action is required to improve the road infrastructure. It is their hope that the concerned government agencies namely KENHA and KURA will work together with the County to come up with a lasting solution.