By Caroline Boyani
Residents of Mombasa and people who use the Mombasa Road at Ronald Ngala Road junction have been going through tough times for more than three years due to the congestion witnessed daily, especially in the morning and evening hours when they are rushing to and from work.
Mohammed, a tuk-tuk driver who plies through those routes complained of the long hours they have to wait due to traffic jams which he attributed to the lack of traffic lights which should control the flow of vehicles and pedestrians.” We feel neglected by our leaders for the lack of amenities such as street lamps and traffic light” he lamented. ” Since Governor Joho’s regime the traffic lights at that junction have been left unattended but we hope the current leadership will make haste to rectify” he added.
The county government under the Ministry of Health has a mandate over street lighting, traffic, and parking as well as county roads which involve: road network plans for the county, road maintenance, maintenance of ferries and harbours, and environmental impact studies for any new roads. Negligence by responsible parties which include traffic officers, county government, and residents can cause a waste of time, and lead to accidents and stalling of county transport projects.
Recently there was a minor accident that was witnessed at the junction owing to the lack of traffic control. It was a collision between a matatu and a private car as the matatu was heading to Ferry along Mombasa Road while the car was along Ronald Ngala Road. Even though no one was injured the headlights of the matatu were damaged and the car was slightly dented. This could have been avoided if traffic lights were guiding the flow and if both drivers had been keen to follow the order. Everyone is in a hurry to get to their destination in time, however, care should be taken to avoid loss of lives and destruction of properties.
Despite the hard times due to the poor economy, those in charge of county transport should look into installing traffic lights at intersections. The county government of Mombasa is commended on assigning pedestrian crossings around the county roads which makes it easy for pedestrians to cross especially school-going children. An equal spirit of diligence should be put in on other sectors of transport and other county sectors in general.