16 April 2018

Kenya: Road Upgrade to End Maai Mahiu Route Nightmare

Photo: George Sayagie/Daily Nation
Motorists stranded on the Narok-Mai Mahiu watch helplessly after flash floods cut road off again on April 15, 2018.

Plans are underway to tarmac the 70km Kibiko-Kimuka-Suswa road that joins Narok and Kajiado counties as a way of mitigating the perennial delays caused by floods along the Narok-Maai Mahiu highway.

Narok Governor Samuel Tunai on Monday said he has requested President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene through the Kenya National Highways Authority to help construct the road to highway specifications.

SHORTER ROUTE

Speaking at Keekorok lodge, when he launched an inter-border security operation with Tanzania, Mr Tunai said the Ngong-Kibiko-Kimuka-Ewuaso Enkidong-Suswa road, once complete, will provide motorists with a shorter route to Narok County from Kajiado and would be an alternative when erratic weather conditions are experienced in the region.

Currently, most motorists travelling from Kajiado and Nairobi counties access Narok through Nakuru.

Commuters heading to and from Nairobi through the highway were over the weekend stranded for hours after the road was cut off by floods for the fifth time. Heavy rains pounding the area caused the deluge and it cut off the road at Suswa near the Standard Gauge Railway line construction area.

Residents have claimed the railway works are the main cause of the flash floods in the area.

HAVOC

Mr Amos Lepaan, a resident, said railway contractors have diverted the water to one spot, causing havoc along the road.

On Sunday, a majority of the commuters could be seen on both sides of the Narok-Nairobi highway waiting for the flood waters to subside.

Ms Joy Kimani, a banker who was travelling to work in Nairobi, said she was worried she might not make it on time. "I'm not sure what to tell my employer. This is just sad," she told the Nation.

Mr Stephen Bet, a lorry driver who was travelling from Narok to Nairobi said they had spent hours waiting for the floods to subside. "We will forced to go back to either Suswa or Narok to seek accommodation which would be an extra expense," said Mr Bet.

Rains have been pounding the region since last month making movement of vehicles to and from Maai Mahiu a nightmare.

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