19 April 2018

Kenya: Matatus Strike to Protest Bad Road in Kasarani, Nairobi

Residents of Kasarani on Thursday woke up to the shock of a matatu strike that lasted for the better part of the monring.

Many had to walk for more than five kilometres to Kasarani town before boarding matatus to Nairobi's central business district.

FARES

The matatus were protesting the poor state of Kasarani-Mwiki road that has been under construction for more than two months now.

Residents of Mwiki, Sunton, Hunters and Gorofani were affected by the transport boycott and had to trek to Kasarani to board matatus from other routes.

Not even the National Youth Service buses that were deployed to some routes in Nairobi were available to rescue the stranded commuters.

Meanwhile, motorbikes had a field day as they cashed in on the crisis.

The locals accused the contractor of taking long to repair a 100-metre stretch of the road, which has been under construction for more than two months.

The contractor, the matatu operators said, failed to create a diversion on the site, further aggravating the already bad situation.

While the trip from Kasarani to Mwiki takes roughly 15 minutes, commuters have been spending more than two hours on the bad road.

They have been paying Sh150 to town, Sh80 up from the usual Sh70.

Security was beefed up in the area on Thursday morning, with the police keeping guard to ward off any confrontations.

TENDER

Residents asked the government to give the tender to another contractor who can complete the works on time.

"We are suffering and demand immediate action from the authorities," Mr Joel Oketch, a resident, told the Nation.

"If the contractor has failed to deliver, the contract should awarded to another firm that is ready to finish the project in time. We can't put up with this anymore."

Nairobi County chief officer in charge of roads Fredrick Karanja disowned the project, saying it is under Kenya Urban Roads Authority (Kura).

The road was recarpeted in 2016 but less than two years down the line, it has gone back to a state of near-complete ruin.

The residents called on Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko to intervene and end their pain.

Others accused area MP Mercy Gakuya of keeping silent as they suffer.

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