An ongoing road upgrading by Kenya National Highways Authority, Photo; KeNHA (website)

Kenya National Highways Authority held a multi-sectoral meeting with transport stakeholders in Homa Bay County to strike a deal to end the rampant road accidents in the County.

Speaking at the occasion, Julius Makoderoh said that the program aims at enlightening the stakeholders on how to avoid practices that possibly cause road accidents.

“We are glad to be meeting all the transport stakeholders to highlight what the law provides on the dangers of ignorance of the environment as far as road safety is concerned,” said Julius.

Blocked drainage systems

Makoderoh who is the Nyanza regional director for KeNHA said that the multi-sectoral meetings target the transport sectors and other associations whose operations impact the roads and highways.

He added that the program is a partnership between KeNHA and the County government of Homa Bay to ensure that roads and Highways within the county are free from degradation and possible accidents.

“We are also enlightening the stakeholders on the dangers of encroaching on the environment which affects the drainage patterns, degrades the environment, and eventually causes accidents on our roads,” added Makoderoh.

Makoderoh also stressed the government’s continued efforts to ensure the free movement of citizens and goods by constructing and upgrading road networks in the region.

He pleaded with the road users to be careful when using roads while at the same time calling upon the public to conserve the environment so that the drainage system along the roads is not blocked.

The sand harvesting peril

Makoderoh’s message was echoed by Homa Bay County Commissioner Moses Lelan who accused sand harvesters as the main source of environmental degradation leading which translates to poor drainage.

“The other aspect which has gone a long way to destroy our roads is the sand transportation and the entire sand harvesting business,” said Lelan.

He swore to involve the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) and other relevant authorities to ensure that the business comes to an end.

“We have agreed with NEMA, KeNHA, and the security department to ensure that we bring this operation to a stop,” added the Commissioner.

He, therefore, warned the public to desist from destroying the road infrastructure materials including stealing the guard rails.

Recurrent road accidents

KeNHA’s move follows a series of road accidents in Nyanza region with Migori being the blackspot of the accidents over the last one month.

In less than two months, there has been more than four accounts of grisly road accidents leading to loss of more than 10 lives, with others nursing serious injuries.

The last accident which involved a tipper transporting sand ended up claiming two lives on the spot, leaving 9 with soft tissue injuries.

The move therefore, according to KeNHA will be an effort by the authority to minimize the loss of lives on the the road which has become rampant.

“I want to commit that the roads are protected. I, therefore, call upon the public to move away from the road reserves and desist from the attempts to steal or destroy the guard rails,” he added.

The County Commissioner also promised that there will be a vigilance team to ensure that the roads are protected and properly used by insisting on adherence to the laws guiding road users.

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