Kenyans stuck in a 40KM traffic jam on Nairobi-Mombasa highway
Kenyans on Friday and Saturday were locked in a monstrous traffic jam that necessitated deployment of police officers overnight to ease the condition after a truck rolled blocking the busy Nairobi-Mombasa highway.
The worst affected areas along the road were Konza town, Malili, Salama and stretching downwards Sultan Hamud with more than 1,800 trucks having stuck for over 24 hours.
Vehicles headed to Mombasa had to seek alternative weather roads that still proved impassible with motorists getting stuck due to heavy down pour being experienced in the region.
Moses Theuri, a truck driver told The Standard that he was headed to Mombasa from Nairobi on Friday evening before he was affected by the jam at around 5.00PM.
“We have stayed here since Friday evening around 5.00PM and have been held here the whole night till now (1.30PM-Saturday). Have decided to use a bodaboda ride in search of water and food in this hotel,” said Mr. Theuri
Another driver, Thairus Koech had arrived at the scene on Saturday 7.00AM and remained at the same point till 2.00pm by the time of our interview.
“I arrived here in the morning hours and the traffic has not moved even in one inch, we want the Government to have police stations along the highway with cranes and other disaster management equipment to be able to rescue these situations”, said Mr. Koach
Vehicles that tried to take U-turn or take off to the scrub land along the highway were all stuck in the mud.
“Our vehicle was stuck as the driver tried to turn off the single carry way through the scrub land into a shamba but we managed to be off the catastrophe at around midnight on Friday”, said Mwikali Kitala, a passenger headed to Mtito-Andei
Makueni County Commissioner Maalim Mohammed confirming the incident, added that the situation had also worsened more by a flooded bridge on River Sultan Hamud rendering the road impassible.
“The condition of the Mombasa-Nairobi highway is in bad state, due to heavy rains the road has been disconnected at Ngokomi which is between Sultan Hamud and Salama town”, said Mr. Mohammed.
The County boss further cautioned motorists’ from trying to cross the flooded bridge and requested drivers to use Makindu-Wote-Machakos bypass as an alternative road.
“We are working closely with Machakos counterpart to make sure the vehicles coming from Nairobi divert through Machakos road to Wote and connect to the highway at Makindu,” he said.