Government closes the Garissa – Bura Highway following floods

The Kenya National Highway Authority (KenHA) has closed the Garissa � Bura Highway following extensive damages on the sections of the road that has rendered it completely impassable.

This comes barely four days after a woman died while trying to cross a flooded section of the road near Bilbil,Tana River County that had been washed away.

Addressing the press on Friday during an inspection tour to assess the damages at Bilbil area, Eng. Njuguna Katitu, the KenHA Director�In-Charge of Maintenance , said the road will remain closed until the rains subside.

We would like to inform members of the public and the road users in general that they should not try to cross such flood water because it’s dangerous. This is water that can wash away even a bus, Katitu said.

For those wishing to go to Bura from Garissa will have to use the Nairobi � Mombasa route. Similarly if you are coming from Bura you have to go through Hola � Malindi � Mombasa route, he added.

Katitu who was unable to reach Bilbil with his team because more sections of the road have been flooded overnight following the ongoing heavy rains pounding several parts of the country said KenHA will repair the major road that links North Eastern and the Coast region.

When the press toured the road, hundreds of stranded passengers tried desperately to wade through the flooded waters but in vain.

Among the hardest hit are miraa traders who could not get their perishable commodities to Bura and Hola and had to return them back.

Tawane Mohamed, resident of Madogo who has relatives in Bilbil said several villages in Chewelle Ward have been marooned and need to be rescued.

We are asking for a helicopter to airlift those who have been marooned and cannot get out of their villages. We cannot be talking of repairing the road when homes and villages have been swept away, he said.

Abdikadir Jama, a miraa trader said they are incurring huge loses and urge the government to open and repair the road as soon as possible.

Source: Kenya News Agency