Coast Regional Commissioner John Elungata has directed that private transporters can now be able to ply the Lamu-Witu-Garsen road at night due to improved security in the county.
The reprieve is however, for non-PSV vehicles only which have received a reprieve following the national government lifting of the nationwide curfew last month.
Speaking during a public baraza held in Witu on Saturday, Elungata stated that the national government is still remaining vigilant to any insurgent threats and thus maintained that night travel ban on PSV vehicles will remain in place to further strengthen security around the county.
“The national government is keen to ensure normalcy returns to Lamu, with steps already underway to build two new security roads that will enhance our security agents response time to any insecurity incidents that could be reported,” he stated.
Public service vehicles owners and travellers on the Lamu-Garsen road since 2014 have only been allowed to travel or operate by day only and using security escorts.
He further urged the public to report any terrorist linked activities that they come across, highlighting the continued threat of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) use on non-tarmacked roads especially within the Boni area.
“Residents need to aid security agents tackle the violent extremism which threatens areas such as Milimani, Baure and Basuba from being fully opened up to the public due to the threat of IEDs in the Boni area,” the senior public administrator said.
He further called on chiefs to be vigilant and report any suspicious activities that they may note in the area.
Elungata further noted that the national government is set to acquire Nairobi Ranch that has already been earmarked as a KDF training camp adding that such measures are part of the government’s agenda to tackle violent extremism in the region.
“We have also noted that there has been a major influx of people from other regions which is causing a concern due to the high rate of land invasions that is taking place in Lamu presently,” he said.
He sounded out unscrupulous land grabbers and invaders for disrupting the national and county government efforts to tackle land management in Lamu which he noted is still hampered by historical land injustices.
“The squatter problem is being tackled by both the national and county governments collaboratively, and both political and religious leaders have been at the forefront coming to my office to ask that land issues be resolved,” he said.
Sentiments echoed by Lamu West MP Stanley Muthama who stated that there is cause for concern especially with the land invasion incidents affecting areas such as Witu-Nyongoro in which land invaders have entered into people’s ranches and laid claim to land that does not belong to them.
“There is a need to ensure that the truth is spoken when it comes to land issues and land invaders are on notice because they are the source of conflict among communities that have co-existed peacefully for years,” Muthama said.