A traffic snarl up along the Nairobi-Nakuru Highway on Saturday 26th June.
Kenyans traveling along the Nairobi-Nakuru Highway have had to endure gridlock traffic jam. The snarl-up is largely attributed to the legions of motorsports fans trooping to Naivasha. The spectacle of their interest is the ongoing World Rally Championship Safari rally.
The event was officially flagged off by President Uhuru on Thursday 24th June at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) in Nairobi. The event saw low-density use of both Uhuru and Thika Highways during morning hours even as fans lined up to cheer drivers.
The gridlock is said to have started forming in the early hours of Saturday 26, June as fans traveled from Nairobi and other areas. The jam has now lasted 5 hours and counting as more vehicles are caught up.
Moreover, regular commuters traveling on the highway have also been caught up in the traffic that has virtually come to a standstill. A number of motorists are reported to have been stuck at the Kinangop Junction along the highway since 8:00 a.m., with no movement whatsoever.
Local residents have called upon the government to intervene in the situation.
They have raised complaints of interference citing poor preparation for the event in terms of transport as the traffic nightmare disparages their livelihoods. Those held up in traffic have requested their daily lives back.
The traffic jam stretches over a distance of 20 kilometers as roads were blocked to allow racing from Naivasha to Soysambu. This comes as part of the rallying premise which sanctions participation through public roads.
During WRC (World Rally Championship) events, its governing body, FIA( Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile), works hand in hand with local governments to ascertain public safety and development of contingencies to avert possible hazards.
However, the government has not provided Naivasha residents and tourists alike with alternative routes following road closures issued by Interior CS Fred Matiang’i.
The event is meant to continue through to Sunday 27th. In the end, the rally drivers will have covered 132 kilometers of unforgiving terrain with fans spectating along the secured routes.
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