Nightmare journey from Rongai to city
Mr Kariuki attributes the cause of the constant jams to three bungalows the government had ordered demolished in order to pave way for construction of an underpass.
The order has never been implemented. It is said the government reneged on a compensation agreement it entered into with the owner of the houses.
“The contractor was supposed to complete construction of the Lang’ata Barracks to Bomas of Kenya section by last month but has been unable to meet this deadline because of the standoff. Why can’t these houses be brought down?” asks Mr Kariuki.
As it stands, only a small part of the said section plus the underpass to Karen remains uncompleted. Nothing is forthcoming from the authorities or the owner of the houses.
“This is affecting my productivity negatively since I get to my workplace when I am already exhausted from the long journey. I wish they knew the miseries we go through every morning and evening,” says Mr Kariuki.
Rongai is about 20 kilometres from the City centre.
“This is a very short distance. I can’t believe that I spend almost three hours on the road whereas I was using thirty minutes at most, previously. This has to stop,” says Monica Kemunto, a lawyer whose offices are also in the CBD.
The situation is also dire for matatu and bus drivers. They say the constant jams are reducing their daily profits.
The number of trips they make to town have greatly reduced, owing to the state of the small section of the road that contributes to jams.
“I used to make quite a substantial amount in a day but matters are becoming more and more difficult as we spend a lot of hours on the road and use a lot of fuel too,” said Sam Kigotho, a driver.
The spillover effect is on the passengers. They carry a burden that is not of their making.
Mr Kigotho says the only way matatus can raise enough money for the day is to increase fares. There are times when fares double or triple, especially in the morning.
He says passengers are always complaining but insists that it is not the fault of the matatu crews.