The government has stepped in to curb road accidents and fatalities of roadside traders by relocating markets along the highways across the country.
Speaking on Saturday at the Londiani junction following the deaths of 51 people in a multiple-car crash, Transport and Public Works Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen, said the government will work with all leaders across the country to have the markets relocated.
“I will issue new directives on business carried along the road. We will be able to know how long it will take to remove locals operating along the road. This is a serious catastrophe. We don't want this to be repeated. We have lost 52 people and scores admitted in various hospitals,” said Murkomen.
The Transport CS reiterated that all PSV drivers will have to undergo mandatory road tests after every three years.
“Each driver must undergo medical tests including diabetes and visibility tests. We have agreed all vehicles must be inspected, and road signage must be redone immediately,” said the CS.
Murkomen revealed that a Rwandan driver caused the accident and that the Kenyan government will have a discussion with the East African Community member states to ensure vehicles entering Kenya are roadworthy.
Local residents demanded the immediate erection of bumps on the busy highway to slow down vehicles.
Kipkelion East MP Joseph Cherorot supported the decision to relocate the markets away from the highway, regretting that the accident had claimed the lives of innocent women and men who were going about their trade.
Cherorot said local hospitals were overwhelmed, requesting the government to consider having a referral hospital in the county.
His Belgut counterpart Nelson Koech said the county has never witnessed a tragedy of such a magnitude. “We feel sorry for the hustlers affected by the tragedy,” said Koech.
Bomet Senator Hillary Sigei said the issue of bumps along the road should be handled with utmost urgency.
His Kericho counterpart Aaron Cheruiyot said most of those who lost their lives were hustlers and requested the government to fund their burials.
“I support what has been said the road is winding and it justifies the need to have a hospital here. The nearest facility here is Kericho and Nakuru Referral and Teaching Hospital.”
Kericho Governor Erick Mutai requested that speed bumps be erected on the road as the national government plans on relocating the market.
“We cannot relocate them immediately, the bumps have to be erected and the 50km/hr speed strictly implemented,” Dr. Mutai said, adding that there was a need for a trauma center to be erected there.