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Mr. President, the traffic snarl-up in Ongata Rongai is eroding social economic growth

UREPORT
By DrNjenga Solomon | February 22nd 2016

The traffic snarl-up has become a painful feature to commuters and residents of Ongata Rongai and its environs. Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta and his counterpart William Samoie Ruto have invested heavily in Rongai and its environs and yet, they have been unable to intervene in assisting the disappointed residents by putting pressure on Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) that has disowned any near plans to expand the jam-infested road. This in turn has continued to erode the social economic gains in Ongata Rongai and its environs.

Indeed, the traffic snarl up in Ongata Rongai and its environs is slowly eroding the social economic development of this upcoming and promising suburb. Ongata Rongai is rapidly becoming inhabitable. The snarl-up along Magadi road from Bomas of Kenya to Ongata Rongai town has become a painful feature to commuters and residents. This road is a trans-county road and it’s under Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA). The painful bitter part of this story is that KeNHA has disowned any plans to expand this 10 kilometre road to dual carriage leaving residents hopeless and disappointed. Magadi Road that connects the Bomas interchange with Rongai is a single carriageway and because of the town’s high population, as it stands the road cannot deal with the high volume of traffic.

The worst section is from Bomas of Kenya to Rongai, which is always at a near standstill all the way to town, causing a ripple effect on people leaving their homes and trying to join the main road.  So bad is the traffic that motorists — most of whom moved into the satellite town just a few years ago to escape Nairobi’s hectic traffic — have had to plan their lives around the jams. They wake up early and return home at odd hours to escape the gridlock. And even then, it doesn’t always work. Rongai does not have a particular time for traffic congestion, either to or from Nairobi. It is congested both ways at any time, and it starts as early as 5 a.m. Ongata Rongai, a former quarry township in the 1990s, is jokingly known as “the diaspora” because of the time it takes to travel there.

Today, because of the traffic, the town is rapidly emptying as tenants relocate. Home owners have been stuck with property they cannot resell because of the drop in real estate prices. Those who still live there have become the butt of jokes and punch lines by morning radio show hosts. Because of this, developers who are stuck with vacant houses have been forced to under-charge. If you look around, there are many vacant houses.

Dear Mr. President, kindly intervene on this menace. Ongata Rongai jam is costing your economy that you have painfully building.

 

Dr. Njenga, Solomon

Chairman - School of Governance, Peace and Security

Africa Nazarene University

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