Capital FM (Nairobi)

29 October 2013

Kenya: KENHA Says It Brought Down 'Illegal' Billboard

Nairobi — The Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) has admitted to bringing down the multimillion shillings billboard structure on Waiyaki Way, saying that it had been erected on the site illegally.

KeNHA Public Relations Officer Charles Njogu, through a statement, said that the authority was acting in good faith by trying to protect the public and did not foresee the kind of inconvenience the exercise would have, after it took longer than expected to clear the site.

"This was attributed to extremely heavy metal gauge of the structure, than had been anticipated. KeNHA was acting in good faith in trying to protect public property, a function which is within its mandate," explained Njogu on Tuesday.

Images from the site show that the billboard's stands were cut a few inches from the ground, bringing the whole structure tumbling down.

The billboard collapsed onto Waiyaki Way blocking traffic on both sides of the highway and leaving a huge traffic pile up in its wake.

Motorists, who were trying to get through the morning rush hour on Tuesday, were forced to use alternative routes like the James Gichuru road all the way to Valley Arcade.

The authority also apologised to motorists who were caught up in the snarl up adding that it had hoped to complete the exercise before dawn.

Njogu explained that traffic police had been alerted to help control the situation.

"KeNHA had envisaged that the removal of the illegal structure would be completed before dawn and had alerted the traffic police department to help control traffic, but the operation stretched beyond the anticipated timeframe," said Njogu.

Kenyans also took to social media to update each other on the traffic situation on the highway advising motorists to avoid that road.

"Fallen Giant Billboard on Waiyaki Way just before Brookside after @SafaricomLtd & DO's office," tweeted the Kenya Red Cross.

"This looks more like vandalism than planned work, as Waiyaki way is shut down due to cut billboard," tweeted @skisaka

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