I dread rains especially the sudden downpour when there was sweat sunshine hours ago. In this tropical country who would want wet weather throughout the year. Not only do humans in this country avoid rain but also their carriages are adversely affected. I recall one legendary singer who sang that Nairobians fear rain more than cars on the road.
He was correct. Think of rain and you start running for a shelter – may be stopping/cancelling all day’s business plans. Media house would have another story to cover that evening. With headlines of “Transport has been paralyzed in many parts of Nairobi following a sudden heavy downpour this afternoon”. Even the gorvernor would agree that many of the city’s roads are rendered impassable leading to heavy traffic just because of drop of water from the sky. This situation adversely impacts transport and commutters are always stranded in the town Centre.
My recent encounter was on the superhighway. Barely two years after completion of Thika. It is seems to be a no go zone with heavy downpour in our city. This Thika superhighway was heavily flooded and if you drove a vitz – lucky if you went through the sea on our superhighway.
Just few minutes of rain renders Thika Superhighway impassable. Motorist reduce their speeds to near zero, as the water fills the road. It is a superwaterway maybe and not a highway. I almost gave a tick to this completed road but drainage has left me the opposite. The authority has neglected the drains despite the Chinese doing a commendable work. More blame is direct towards us, some residents fill drains with garbage and all form of plastic. When it rains, water is therefore left with nowhere to go, but to fill the road. Lets stop this, think global while acting locally.
Steps to green future
Thika Road – Metropolitan Class
Thika Road new super highway
Six years ago traffic on Thika road seemed a nightmare and residents of adjacent estates recall long hours in traffic. The elimination of roundabouts and other bottlenecks such as single lane tracks has significantly eased traffic flow and reduced the cost of running a public service vehicle on the highway.
The flyovers, interchanges, underpasses [box culverts] and overpasses provided are meant to ease congestion and provide an access controlled motorway with accompanying service roads, slip roads, bus laybays and well demarcated lanes.
According to various reports, Nairobi is estimated to lose Sh20 billion a year on traffic jams, more than City Hall spends annually to provide services such as water, sewerage and garbage collection to residents. With Thika road then accounting high number of billions per annum.
The ten-lane Thika Road has cast off the spell of notoriously wasting man-hours. Time that could be useful otherwise being burnt up in traffic jams is a major loss for any economy.
Thika Road – Super Highway
The approximately 97 per cent completed Nairobi-Thika Super highway stands out as the latest infrastructure facility with extra emphasis on safety for motorists and pedestrians. The bridges are also covered incase of bad weather conditions. The landings of the ramps and stairs for the bridges lead pedestrians to the foot path/cycles, which have been developed, on both sides of the road all the way from Nairobi to Birmingham of Kenya – the industrial Thika town.
As the project draws to completion, it is interesting the way it continues to attract admiration. The superhighway remains such a phenomenon to behold that it has attracted delegations from several countries including Tanzania, Zanzibar, Uganda, Benin, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and Niger among others. I imagine school children will soon tour Nairobi and on their list will be a ride on the only superhighway in East Africa.