Transport CS, governors discuss ways to ease Nairobi traffic congestion

James Macharia, the Cabinet secretary for Transport. FILE PHOTO | NMG
James Macharia, the Cabinet secretary for Transport. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The national government is working with county governments to decongest Nairobi, a senior government official has said.

Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said they have held the first meeting with governors from Nairobi and neighbouring counties to strategise on the best ways to ease flow of traffic into and out of the city.

The county bosses from Nairobi, Machakos, Kajiado, Kiambu and Murang’a are meeting under the auspices of Nairobi Metropolitan Authority, formed after President Uhuru Kenyatta signed an executive order on February 9, this year.

“There are many people who live in these counties but work in Nairobi. Unless these five counties work together in collaboration with the Ministry of Transport, challenges in the City of Nairobi will never go away,” Mr Macharia said on Friday.

Mr Macharia said a lot of productivity hours are wasted on the roads and the two levels of government have a duty to collaborate and open up more roads that can be used by commuters who have no work in the central business district (CBD).

Governors from these counties have been incorporated in this project meant to put in place an integrated transport policy and direction because their counties are also affected by congestion.

Legal framework

Mr Macharia said the team will continue putting in place the right management pending enactment of a legislation to provide a legal framework that will guide the process.

“There will be a Bill to be processed through Parliament but, before that, we are implementing the President’s executive order,” the Cabinet secretary said.

He revealed that the government was fast tracking construction works on key infrastructural projects that would address the transport challenges.

Mr Macharia cited the Outer-Ring road that comes from Thika Super Highway and goes to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), saying the road will be completed by July, this year.

The government is also working in collaboration with financial support from the Japanese government to complete on-going works on Ngong road.

“We have signed a commercial agreement with a Chinese company to do the Western Bypass that links Ruaka with the Nairobi-Nakuru highway.

“This will see people drive around Nairobi without going through the CBD and thus reduce congestion,” Mr Macharia said.