By Patrick Chiriba

Vandalism along the Mombasa Southern bypass has forced motorists plying the 15-kilometer route to exercise extra caution, especially at night.

The vandalism, particularly on the street lighting system, is being carried out even during daytime.

Engineer Moses Mutea, a Kenya National Highway Authority (KENHA) official, said vandalism is a huge problem mainly affecting easily accessible infrastructure.

“We had secured the cables and covered them with concrete and sealed them with hefty metals, but somehow the vandalism has been very severe and we have lost the entire system,” said the engineer.

Engineer Mutea added that the vandalized wear reflector jackets are similar to those of the maintenance group and before anyone notices, the whole system is down.

KENHA has set aside over 400 million shillings to repair the lighting system and build two police stations to improve the area’s security.

The police stations will help improve the security of motorists and SGR passengers along the entire corridor from Miritini to Kipevu.

Insecurity has been an issue at the SGR Miritini station with passengers reporting mugging cases after arriving from the SGR Mombasa terminus.

The Mombasa Southern bypass, popularly known as the Dongo Kundu bypass, was constructed to decongest the Likoni channel and provide alternative routes to the South Coast.

Additionally, the construction of the Dongo Kundu Special Economic Zone – the first phase of Kenya’s free trade zone could be at risk.

The project was set to kickstart soon after the government called for bids.

According to Nation Africa, no bidder has requested a supplement officially more than one month after the tender was advertised.

The project concept includes the development of a free-trade zone, a free port, a logistics hub, and a mega-industrial zone for the region’s key depots.