Murkomen: New roof at JKIA to be complete in a month

Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

Roads and Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen has blamed the recent leaks at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) on aging infrastructure, including the roofs.

 The CS also blamed extensive flooding at the airport on poor drainage systems and blockages as the cause of the problem.

 A video emerged this week showing the flooded airport premises, cold storage areas, and leaks at Terminal 1C, including checking-in areas.

 The video caused outrage among Kenyans on social media, blaming the CS for failing the country and causing reputation damage to the respected airport.

 Speaking when he visited the airport on Tuesday afternoon to conduct an assessment of the affected areas, Murkomen said repairs are already underway.

 "Part of the leakage is due to old infrastructure, including the roof you saw leaking recently on social media. The modern roof for Terminal 1B and 1C is under construction, as you can see, and the contractor is installing gutters as they move forward. It will be complete within one month," said Murkomen.

 "The new roofing will solve the perennial leakages onto level 1 while creating more capacity at the facility for a new arrival terminal and lounges as we prepare to decommission Terminal 1E," he added.

 The Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), he said, is a critical facility that provides direct and indirect employment to over 15,000 Kenyans.

 It is also a crucial trade and transportation hub for goods and people across the country, the region, and the globe.

 The CS said they have stabilized the electricity supply and are now moving to the next phase of  installing solar power and even selling some to the national grid.

 Last December, the airport experienced power blackouts when the country was also facing a total blackout for over 2 hours, leaving passengers stranded and paralyzing services.