Highways agency unclogs drainage ahead of El Nino

Steel drain cap welded into a square on the road. [iStockphoto]

The Kenya National Highways Authority has started unclogging and expanding drainage systems along Mombasa Road.

This clearance of the busy highway is being undertaken in preparation for the heavy rains predicted by the Kenya Meteorological Department.

During an inspection of the situation in Nairobi, Kenha said it has also identified key roads in other parts of the country prone to flooding and has plans for their clearance.

Significant progress

"We are working on the lower deck, from James Guchuru Road to Ole Sereni. The project's scope involves restoring the carriageway and drainage systems, and we have made significant progress," said George Ajwang, the deputy site agent.

The decision to repair and expand the drainage systems, Ajwang says, was prompted by instances of flooding in certain sections of the road. The clearing commenced near Nyayo House and has since extended to Nyayo Stadium.

According to Kenha, the clearing will facilitate the unobstructed water flow and prevent motorists using the underneath of the Expressway from being affected by floods during the rainy season.

Samwel Kumba, Kenha's deputy director of corporate communications, acknowledged that the authority is aware of the concerns expressed by road users in anticipation of the expected heavy rains.

Prone to flooding

"The directorate issued instructions to all regional directors to identify areas prone to flooding challenges," Kumba said.

Contractors in the targeted areas have been directed to ensure the drainage systems are repaired and improved in preparation for the upcoming rains.

"On Mombasa Road, significant progress has been made on the major drains, but additional reinforcement is necessary," Kumba added.

The primary drainage system, responsible for collecting water from both sides of Mombasa Road, converges at the Imara Daima area. Here, the contractors have altered the course towards the estate, extending to Kware, to divert water into Ngong River along Outering Road.

This channel is expected to benefit both motorists and Imara Daima residents who have, in the past, experienced flooding during the rainy seasons.

Excess water

The drainage extends approximately 4km from Mombasa Road, Imara Daima, to Outering Road.

One of the site managers, Martin Wafula, said, "The Imara Daima channel involves expanding the drainage system down to the lower section to facilitate the smooth flow of excess water from the Expressway."

In its October, November, and December forecast, the Kenya Meteorological Department indicated that a significant portion of the country is expected to receive increased rainfall.