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Rush for school items, transport mark last day of holiday

By Standard Team | January 6th 2014

By Standard Team

Kenya: Parents and their children jammed bookshops and school outfitters as others tried to get transport to various destinations in readiness for the re-opening of schools today.

In Kisumu, several travellers rushing to beat the back to school deadline were at various bus termini.

The travellers, most of whom were school goers, spent several hours trying to get vehicles to ferry them to their destinations on time.

The students, some of whom were in the company of their parents, had to part with fare three times what they are used to paying on normal days partly.

Vehicles travelling long distances like those headed to Nairobi from Kisumu, which usually charge as low as Sh700, were yesterday charging up to Sh2,000.

Linda Atieno, a student schooling in Nairobi, said she was shocked to find that the transport charges had been increased by a huge margin.

“I should be in school by 6pm today yet I have not even managed to get a vehicle to Nairobi because the fare is too much,” she said.

Nakuru town was also bustling with students and parents doing last minute back to school preparations.

Parents and students travelling to different destinations were stranded at matatu stages and complained of increased fare, while matatu operators linked high prices to increased number of passengers.

Matatus heading to Eldoret were charging between Sh400 and Sh500 from normal price of Sh300.

Hiked fare

Passengers heading to Nairobi were paying between Sh700 and Sh1,000 while those travelling  to Kakamega had to part with Sh1,000 from Sh600.

Those travelling to Kisumu from Nakuru had to fork out Sh600.

Kabara Ireri, a passenger who was traveling to Embu town from Eldoret via Nakuru, said the hiked fare might affect students traveling back to school.

In West Pokot, most hawkers in Makutano and Kapenguria townships turned to selling textbooks as schools reopen. A spot check by The Standard also established that the most sold items were set books and mathematical tables, with the hawkers mostly targeting buyers at matatu and bus termini.

In Kakamega, scores of students in uniform, some accompanied by their parents, could be seen in the streets as they shopped and others booked tickets to travel.

-Stories by Mercy Kahenda, Bryan Tumwa, Wilberforce Netya and Maureen Odiwuor

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