Hundreds Spend Night In Traffic Jam Trying To Beat Lockdown
Hundreds of weary motorists spent the night sitting in queues of grinding traffic along the Nairobi-Nyeri highway on Friday as many attempted to beat a ban on all travel in the capital and out of four other counties.
The gridlock that occurred between Makuyu and Kenol section saw motorists, a majority of whom were leaving Nairobi for upcountry, spending hours on journeys that usually took minutes.
Venting her frustration, Monica Njeri recounted how she spent five hours in the jam. “The lucky ones used the Muranga route to reach their destinations,” said Njeri.
According to James Mwangi, a matatu driver, the gridlock was occasioned by a rush to beat the Presidents order on the cessation of movement into and out of Nairobi, Kajiado, Machakos, Kiambu, and Nakuru counties beginning midnight Friday.
Mwangi said fares from Nairobi to Karatina shot to Sh1,500 from Sh400. “The demand was too high and passengers were willing to pay,” he said.
Coincidentally, the section which witnessed the gridlock is under construction for conversion to a dual carriageway to ease congestion.
Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia a month ago regretted the long traffic jams common in the section saying the road will be expanded in two years. “By June next year the 84 kilometers dual carriage highway from Kenol to Marwa will be complete,” said Macharia.