Security wall along Kenya-Somalia border could cost Sh200m per KM – Expert
The proposed 700km anti-terror security wall separating Kenya and Somalia from border point one in Mandera and Kiunga in Lamu is on course.
The project which was mooted in the aftermath of the Garissa University College terror attack is one of the most ambitious anti-terror strategy to bar off Al Shabaab terrorists from Kenya.
However, the cost implication of a real anti-terror wall of 2 million dollars per kilometre, according to Homeland Security Analyst Richard Tuta, and its maintenance is one factor the government ought to consider deeply.
The Al Shabaab attacks in the North Eastern region has seen more than 100 people killed in recent times.
The reason why the attacks have been rampant in the area is the easy access of Kenya-entry points especially through the Bulahawa border point thus allowing militants to enter and attack and return to their bases in Somalia.
This is, however, set to change if a decision arrived at by the top most security organ in the country, the National Security Advisory Council chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta that approved the construction of a full proof security wall stretching from Kiunga at the coast to Mandera in the north is fully implemented.
On Thursday, the newly appointed North Eastern Coordinator Amb Saleh Mohammud inspected the project and announced it was on course.
The wall must be constructed
“The wall will start from Mandera up to Kiunga. The construction has begun and we will see it to its conclusive end,” said Mr Saleh.
According to the Interior Ministry spokesperson Mwenda Njoka, the wall will not be purely a concrete and mortar affair stretching all the 800 kilometres but will include, a physical wall, barbed electric fence, and trenches.
The decision, Saleh insists, is a decision of the national government.
“I hear Somalia has complained, but we have made the decision and it must happen.”
Leaders from the region have already endorsed the decision.
Richard Tuta, a homeland security expert weighs in on the feasibility of the project saying it should incorporate full surveillance methods.
“If it is a wall, it should not just be any wall, it should be an anti-terror wall, borrowed from that of Jerusalem with full proof surveillance methods,” noted Tuta.
The cost implication, however, remaining the elephant in the room.
“A kilometre costs 2 million dollars, for Kenya, security is a priority, and should be handled as such.”
Experts have, however, faulted the slow response of security apparatus in tackling terrorists.
It is hoped that the wall will hamper entry of bad elements to the country.
“There is need ensure adequate response and patrol officers in order to respond promptly to any intrusion,” added Tuta.
According to the Interior Ministry, an elite patrol team has already been put up with a superior weaponry.