Words from Kenya

Slow Tarmac on the Wind Farm Road – Marsabit County

Tarmac on the windfarm road

Once upon a time the Lake Turkana Wind Farm carved a beautiful dirt road across Marsabit County in Northern Kenya. It ran from Laisamis all the way to the wind farm, close to the shores of Lake Turkana.

For a few years this finely graded dirt road was used to speed lorries carrying wind turbines coming all the way from Nairobi to the far northern wind farm. It was also used by visitors and locals alike, who suddenly found that trips to that part of the north could be relatively trouble free and fast.

The windfarm road
The windfarm road

Sadly the government didn’t see fit to maintain this fine road after the Lake Turkana Wind Farm was finished with it. It is now a back breaking corrugated nightmare, the upper layers of murram stripped away by winds and water, leaving behind the rocks and boulders of the roads foundation.

Several years ago somebody decided to start tarmacking the road from its junction with the main north road at Laisamis. This has to be the slowest road tarmacking project in Kenyan history (well, with the exception of the north road itself that notoriously took three presidents to complete).

Tarmac on the windfarm road
Tarmac on the windfarm road

In the last couple of years it has crawled from the Laisamis junction to the top of the hill, and a little way down the other side. With one sad digger, a broken grader and no workmen I could see, I can image that the next section (over the famous Milgis lugga) could easily take another decade.

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