A huge traffic jam on the main highway leading to Mombasa was yesterday blocked for more than Eight hours by rioting truck drivers. Several cars were seen on the two sides of the Mariakani-weight Bridge stranded for more than 20 km.
Consequently, safari vehicles were stuck for that time, due to the absence of a bypass or even detour, leaving several tourists enraged by these delays to arrive at the game parks, and those coming back from safari to their beach resorts were as well victims to this strike.
In accordance with a source based in Mombasa, these truck drivers were rioting over claims of substantial corruption at this weight station, where, presumably, vehicles having “arrangements” are permitted to pass, whilst the rest are put through harassment, bullying, and even worse.
These claims aren’t new and more still weigh bridges have been for a while referred to as money-extraction machines for the corrupt law enforcement officers, even though no level of government action, personnel transfers, or even arrests have assisted in changing that.
A regular Kenyan coast based source said in answer to a mailed inquiry that this is not a peak season, and so they need each and every tourist they get. Now the tourists that arrived and left for their safari yesterday were disorganized by these concerns that have been pending for some time. We require weigh bridges to safeguard our roads from the huge overloading that has previously destroyed also the brand new roads in a short time. However, these stations should be professionally managed as well as properly supervised to do away with corruption.
At some point last year, the traffic was jammed to and from Mombasa for almost a day, as road works; together with the unruly truck driving caused a significant traffic jam. in fact, The tourism business even has for very long been requesting for a bypass from the country’s international airport found in Mombasa, connected to the Nairobi to Mombasa highway and to the southern border with Uganda, to aid simpler road transport and prevent the frequently difficult to rely on ferry crossing back at Likoni.
Another source added that when they get their international conference center, the various roads should be prepared, as well, to handle an added traffic. There isn’t any point to construct new facilities when tourist as well as business visitors can’t access them, or even miss flights due to traffic jams. The government together with the county government should meet with stakeholders and present us the solution; and this is the only time for such talk, indicating increasing disappointment with the previous lack of care about on the development of coastal infrastructure.