Travellers stranded as Easter holiday starts

The matatus terminus was crowded with vehicles that had ferried people from Nairobi awaiting for the return trip. [File]

Tens of travellers were stranded in Nakuru town for the better part of the day as they travelled to their homes for Easter celebration.

During the week, very few travellers were spotted at the matatu terminus while a majority chose to travel on Friday.

This led to a shortage of matatus ferrying them to the rural areas, forcing them to spend hours under the scorching sun.

"A majority of the people are travelling upcountry and we have been waiting for matatus headed there to make more trips," said Patrick Maina who was headed to Kakamega.

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The matatus terminus was crowded with vehicles that had ferried people from Nairobi awaiting for the return trip.

Prestige Shuttle chairman Stephen Muli said although they had maintained their charges to all destinations, very few people were travelling to Nairobi.

"The number of people travelling to Western Kenya is overwhelming. We have been forced to assign more vehicles to the routes. However the return trips have been affected due to the low number of travellers in the opposite direction," said Muli.

Nearly all the Public Service Vehicles operators maintained their charges despite the increased cost of fuel following a review by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) last week.

Towards the evening, entertainment and food joints came to life as the number of clients started to grow.

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The churches too, such as the Nakuru Catholic Diocese, were filled to capacity. Faithful attended mass led by Bishop Maurice Muhatia who earlier led the Way Of The Cross in the streets.

The hospitality industry also recorded a high number of bookings as more people trooped in for sporting activities. Many attended the Great Rift 10 Aside rugby tourney at the Nakuru Athletics Club sponsored by The Nairobian.

Edwin Maliatso, the manager for Alps Hotel, said the bookings increased in the afternoon after a week of waiting.

"It has been a slow week with the number of clients booking for Easter holidays not as high as it was in the previous years. We have however seen a last-minute rush as the clients brace for the long weekend," said Maliatso.

He added that the hotel has reduced its rates on food and accommodation by 10 per cent.

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Christopher Komen, the manager for Bontana Hotel, said they slashed their prices by 20 per cent.

The hotel has come up with a package dubbed county connection that allows guests to visit various sites in Nakuru and neighbouring counties during the season.

"We have a 20 per cent discount on our services. We have come up with a new package for our clients to tour tourism sites in Nakuru and Baringo."

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