The coastal county of Lamu is facing a humanitarian crisis as heavy rains have cut off the main road connecting it to the rest of the country, leaving it with a severe shortage of fuel and other essential commodities.
The Lamu-Garsen road, which is the only access route to the county by land, has been rendered impassable by floods at several sections, especially at Gamba, where the bridge has been submerged by the overflowing River Tana.
Motorists, passengers, and security officers have been stranded on both sides of the road, unable to cross the flooded bridge. Some have resorted to using boats to ferry people and goods across the river, but this is risky and costly.
The situation has also affected the supply of fuel to Lamu, which relies on tankers from Mombasa to deliver petrol and diesel to the island. The county has been experiencing a fuel shortage for the past two weeks, forcing motorists and fishermen to ration their consumption or buy fuel at exorbitant prices.
The fuel shortage has also disrupted the operations of the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport (LAPSSET) corridor project, which is being constructed on the mainland. The project requires a steady supply of fuel to power the heavy machinery and vehicles involved in the construction.
The Kenya National Highways Authority (KENHA) has said that it has embarked on road and bridge repairs in the Coast region, including the Lamu-Garsen road, to restore normalcy and ease the movement of people and goods. However, it has not given a timeline for the completion of