Even after half a billion repair, Mwiki road back to its bad state

NAIROBI, KENYA: The two-kilometre Kasarani-Mwiki road that was repaired in 2015 at a cost Sh500 million by the county government has turned into a nightmare for motorists and pedestrians alike. Commonly referred to as shamba la kwenda Mwiki (the farm route to Mwiki), it has become a collection of potholes.

The result is a never-ending traffic jam even in off-peak hours. Jessica Omwaka, a resident of Mwiki Phase Three, is considering leaving her car at home and use public transport.
“This road is pathetic. I replaced the car shocks the other day but they are all worn out again. The county government is trying, but they need qualified contractors,” said Omwaka.

The cry is the same from the matatu operators plying the route. Simon Njuguna says driving on the road is torturous.

“This road is a nightmare! The 5km journey feels like a 20km bumpy ride, with traffic even on Sundays. They gave us three months of hell on pretext that they were repairing the road yet in a year, we are back where we started,” said Mr Njuguna.

Long journey

Mwiki is a distance of 18km from the CBD. It takes Njuguna  13 minutes from town to Hunters- a distance of around 14km from the CBD - during off peak hours.

Surprisingly, the remaining 2km to Mwiki takes one hour or longer. In late 2015, residents and matatu operators in the area came out in numbers and paralysed transport along Thika Superhighway.

The protests prompted Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero to rush to the scene to appease the angry protesters. He assured them the Kenya Urban Roads Authority would commence repair works at a cost of at least Sh500 million. But today, they are back to where they started- bad roads.

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