Upper Hill, where trip to work is a difficult job
Upper Hill is heaving under mud and dilapidated roads and investors in the area have had to grapple bad transport after road construction stalled due to financial limitations.
One woman working with the Energy Regulatory Authority, a government parastatal along Kilimanjaro Road, described the area as ‘beyond pathetic’.
“The roads are impassable. And those passable are filled with craters for potholes. Servicing my car is becoming more expensive than ever,” she explained.
It has not been easy for workers in this part of the city, and those using their cars have been forced to park them away from the chaos and wade throeugh the mud and puddles to their offices.
Coca-Cola, Teachers Service Commission, Insurance Regulatory Authority, Equity Bank headquarters, Elgon Place (Court of Appeal offices), Crowne Plaza hotel, Oxford Publishers and a stream of financial institutions among those affected.
Those using small cars face a bigger challenge as navigating through the uneven grounds is an uphill task.
“All the taxi drivers have left this place because of difficulty in operating conditions. It gets even worse during the rainy season,” said taxi driver Peter Wang’ombe.
Last month, the firm accredited with construction of the roads, Matta Contractors, decried lack of government funding saying they had completed 48 percent of the first phase of the project.
“Money has been transferred to counties and KURA (Kenya Urban Roads Authority) is facing a budget crisis,” said Mattan’s managing director Najib Rashid.
It took the highlighting of the plight by a local broadcaster, NTV, for the government to release more funds.
Working against all tides to beat the June deadline, the contractor is optimistic most of the roads designated for the first phase will have been completed.
The first task, says a site agent, is to construct drainage before tarmacking to end flooding. Kilimanjaro, Hospital, Menengai, Elgon and Mara roads are the priority areas.
Kilimanjaro Road leads to Zep Re, Coca Cola, Shelter Afrique, Capital Markets and ERC, while also connecting to the path leading to Crowne Plaza and Equity Bank.
Hospital Road leads to Kenyatta National Hospital, the region’s biggest referral hospital, and then towards Ngong’ Road.
Mara Road services British and Japanese embassies, Rahimtullah Tower, Corporate Bank of Africa, CIC Insurance and KMA building.
Due to the impending global activity for World Bank, Menengai Road is being spruced up and a temporary layer of tarmac is being spread to make it passable.