Traffic jams, stalling ferries to sour Christmas mood


The all too frequent traffic jam on the Mombasa-Nairobi highway and breakdown of ferries at Likoni in Mombasa are a threat for those planning to visit the coast for Christmas.

This is one of the high tourist seasons for the coast and the twin problems could not have come at a worse time.

Early this week, hundreds of travellers were stranded for nearly two days in a crippling traffic jam near Taru township in Kwale County.

Commuters and tourists in Mombasa have suffered due to the frequent breakdown of ferries at Likoni crossing

The Mombasa highway jam was attributed to the on ongoing road works at Mgalani Msufi on the highway aggravated by the El Nino rains.

Travellers and transporters caught up in the jam demanded an urgent solution.

Mr Joseph Were, a Mash Bus driver said his passengers suffered a great deal, especially women and children.

Ms Eunice Mshamba, who was in the Mombasa-bound Mash Bus with her baby on Thursday, said: “My baby has cried so much. She has developed high fever and rashes on her skin because she has not been bathed for three days. I am also hungry because I have exhausted my money and can’t buy food,” she said at the Maili Kubwa trading centre, 75 kilometres from Mombasa.

A Mikindani resident Ms Caroline Simwa was worried after her daughter failed to arrive home three days after schools closed.

Following the transport chaos, Mombasa County Commissioner Nelson Marwa apologised to travellers and businesses for the inconveniences and losses caused by the jam in recent weeks.

“We asked the contractor to expand the narrow diversion. He will also build the drainage so that when it rains, water can drain out,” he said.