The national government is set to renovate and reconstruct four key jetties in Lamu County at a cost of Sh649 million.
The jetties are structurally unsound and are in dire need of repair.
Speaking during an inspection tour of the various jetties in Lamu on Wednesday, Transport and Infrastructure Principal Secretary Paul Maringa said the four jetties which will be prioritised include Mokowe Customs Jetty, Lamu Mangrove Customs Jetty and Manda Airport Jetty, all in Lamu West and Mtangawanda Jetty in Lamu East.
According to Mr Maringa, all the works will kick off in November this year.
READY IN 2019
He said the construction and reconstruction of Lamu Mangrove Customs Jetty, Manda Airport Jetty and Mtangawanda Jetty will be ready by May 2019.
He said the Mokowe jetty, which is the largest project among the four, will be ready in two years' time.
"We have today toured Lamu County to inspect the jetties. We have found that some are structurally unsound and need repair," said Mr Maringa.
The PS said preliminary requests including drawing works and the general planning of the jetties' construction have already been finalised.
Mr Hillary Nyaanga, a structural engineer in the State Department of Public Works who accompanied the PS during the inspection tour, said the work will include expansion of some of the jetties to enable them accommodate more boats, travellers and cargo.
"We will have to reconstruct the Mokowe jetty afresh and in a modern style. We want it to have the large waiting bay, a mini-petrol station. It will also be designed in such a way that it will accommodate persons living with disabilities. For the Lamu Mangrove Customs Jetty, we want to change the temporary additional landing facility which is made of timber to a permanent feature. Locals should rest assured that everything will be fine," said Mr Nyaanga.
Lamu Deputy Governor Abdulhakim Aboud lauded the national government for intervening and ensuring the Lamu jetties are renovated.
Jetties in Lamu play a key role since they are the only entry and exit points into and out of Lamu town and other adjacent islands.
Lamu residents largely rely on sea transport for movement.
The jetties are therefore a crucial element since they aid in the movement of passengers and cargo.
The renovation is a relief to thousands of travellers going to Lamu town and other islands who have literally been risking their lives while using the dilapidated jetties.