Giant Kenya traffic jam stretches to third day
Kenyan police said Friday they have begun clearing a three-day traffic jam stretching for tens of kilometres on the main highway between the capital and the country’s only port of Mombasa.
The snarl-up began on Wednesday amid heavy rains and after vehicles overtook each other to skip road construction on the route between Nairobi and Kenya’s second city.
At times, the traffic jam has snaked back as far as 50 kilometres (30 miles), according to some reports, centred around the Taru area, some 100 kilometres west of Mombasa.
Drivers, stuck in the tailback for three days, have complained of a lack of food and water as they wait to move again on a journey that normally takes a day of driving.
“We have sent in more police officers to clear the road – at least we have vehicles now moving, although very slowly,” Kenya traffic police chief Jecinta Kinyua said.
“We urge motorists to be patient and cooperate with our officers, to avoid complicating the issue further,” she added.
The traffic gridlock has hampered business to and from Mombasa, which is Kenya’s only port and a key transport route for several East African landlocked countries, including Uganda, South Sudan and Rwanda.