JKIA was renovated at massive cost but today it’s a shame – Gachagua

Wednesday, November 15th, 2023 13:36 | By
JKIA was renovated at massive cost but today it's a shame - Gachagua
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua during a past function. PHOTO/Rigathi Gachagua(@rigathi)/X

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua on Wednesday, November 15 defended Roads and Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen over attacks regarding his remarks on the poor state of infrastructure at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

Speaking at the 30th Institution of Engineers of Kenya Convention and the 18th World Council of Engineers at Pride Inn Beach Resort, Mombasa, the country's second-in-command insisted that the former administration of retired President Uhuru Kenyatta was to blame for what he termed as shoddy renovation works done at the airport.

According to the DP, despite the government spending a substantial amount on the project there was little to show for it as evidenced by embarrassing viral videos of leaking roofs at the airport.

"I’ve seen some people castigate CS Murkomen because of what he said about JKIA leaking roofs, that is the truth. JKIA was renovated at a massive cost, but today it is a shame, public resources were used but when you go there, you feel sorry but engineers and architects were certified and based on that certification, payments were made," Gachagua stated.

He added: "People in this country are allergic to truth."

Poor workmanship at JKIA

Yesterday, CS Murkomen said the leaking roof at the airport was a result of poor workmanship by the contractor and engineers who were doing renovations at Terminal 1C and 1 E in the previous administration of Uhuru.

He noted that the renovation works at the airport were hurried and as such did not meet the required standards.

“At the start of President William Ruto’s administration last year, we found dilapidated infrastructure at our airports, and even though we have done our best to address the problem, some issues remain because of previous long-term neglect,” Murkomen stated.

Speaking in Diani, Kwale County, where he was inspecting the expansion of Diani Airport, Murkomen said the contractor had been instructed to redo the work.

“The chickens have come home to roost. We have asked the contractor to redo the works at the temporary terminal, while the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) and the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) have been directed to sort out drainage issues,” he said.

KAA Acting Managing Director Henry Ogoye reiterated the CS's remarks on Wednesday, saying efforts were ongoing to revamp infrastructure at the national airport.

"Over the last 10 years, JKIA has suffered inadequate facility and infrastructure capacity upgrades to the extent that even temporary interventions became permanent solutions hence the current state of affairs in service disruptions," Ogoye stated.

"The Government has commenced the process of addressing infrastructure development of the facility covering the expansion of the passenger terminal, runway capacity, and provision of additional aircraft parking bays beginning this financial year 2023/2024," he added.

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