By: DANIEL TSUMA NYASSY
A contingent of traffic police officers from Kwale County has been sent to the Taru stretch of the Mombasa-Nairobi highway to help ease a massive traffic jam.
The gridlock, which has persisted for over 48 hours since Tuesday, was caused by unfinished work on a road diversion in Taru and a heavy downpour that has rendered the muddy stretch impassable.
Kwale County Commissioner Evans Achoki and Coast regional Traffic Commander Martin Kariuki took the move after vehicles were stuck for two days.
The two officers went to the Taru diversion on Thursday to assess the crisis.
“We sent many officers last night to deal with the issue. Trucks will be guided, buses and private cars will be diverted onto the standard gauge railway road to ease the problem.
“We hope that by noon today (Thursday), traffic will have begun flowing,” Mr Achoki has said by phone.
Buses that left Nairobi and upcountry points were still stuck in the area, according to a driver with the Mash Bus company, Mr Joseph Were.
“It’s terrible. Children are yelling in my bus due to hunger.
“Parents are devastated and helpless. We don’t know when we will arrive in Mombasa as vehicles are not moving”, said Mr Were.
Mombasa Governor Hassan Ali Joho on Thursday appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene and instruct the relevant departments to take immediate action to rectify the situation.
In a statement, Mr Joho said the situation had become disastrous and needed urgent and proper attention.
He said the jam was caused by the poor state of the road and delayed construction, adding that the situation had not only harmed business in the Coast region but Kenya at large.
“It has become extremely difficult to get in and out of Coast Region; this has deeply inconvenienced bus commuters and interrupted many businesses,” said Mr Joho.
Governor Joho added: “Food supplies from upcountry have become irregular, getting cargo out of the port to its various destinations across the East and Central African regions has become a challenge, and it has even become impossible to get a newspaper.”
SOURCE: DAILY NATION