Elders to conduct cleansing ritual at Sachangwan

Wednesday January 10 2018

Sachangwan blackspot

Trucks on the road at the Sachangwan blackspot along Nakuru-Eldoret Highway. Elders from the Kalenjin community in Nakuru County are planning a series of cleansing prayers along the dangerous stretch. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By ERIC MATARA
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Elders from the Kalenjin community in Nakuru County are planning a series of cleansing prayers along the dangerous Salgaa-Migaa-Sachangwan-Mau Summit stretch along the Nakuru-Eldoret highway starting next week.

The elders made the disclosure after they held a meeting at the AGC Sachangwan church on Tuesday to deliberate on the rampant road crashes along the section of the highway.

According to the elders’ chairman Josiah Ruttoh, elders from the Kalenjin and other communities including the Kikuyu Council of Elders will hold cleansing ceremonies along the notorious stretch.

“Also, the clergy have been invited to seek divine intervention to end the road carnage that has claimed hundreds of lives [along] the stretch,” Mr Ruttoh said after the meeting.

The meeting brought together the Kalenjin elders, church elders, local leaders among them Nakuru Deputy Governor Eric Korir, Molo MP Kimani Kuria and area administrators.

THEORY DISMISSED

However, the elders dismissed the theory that the mass grave at Sachangwan where 78 victims of the 2009 oil tanker fire were buried is the cause of crashes along the stretch.

The Sachangwan oil tanker tragedy claimed 130 lives.

Mr Ruttoh said crashes along the stretch are mostly caused by careless driving as opposed to claims by some people that some spirits are involved.

MORE SPEED BUMPS

The elders now want the government to erect more bumps along the stretch to curb the frequent crashes.

“Accidents along the blackspot are caused by careless driving. We call upon motorists using the highway to exercise high levels of caution to end the carnage,” he stated.

The elders have also demanded that hospitals be built at Salgaa and Sachangwan along the stretch to help handle crash victims.

TRAUMA CENTRE

Plans to establish a trauma centre in Salgaa during President Mwai Kibaki’s tenure have never taken off even after the project was allocated Sh800 million.

“We need hospitals along the blackspot to help accident victims. Every time an accident occurs we are forced to ferry victims to Nakuru Level Five Hospital and other health facilities in Nakuru Town,” said Mr Joseph arap Sang, a church elder.

The Nakuru deputy governor said the county government plans to construct a trauma centre and establish a central ambulance response centre in Salgaa.

“The county government has plans to put in place a robust disaster management team to improve response to accidents and emergencies,” disclosed Dr Korir.

In December 2017, alone, more than 100 lives were lost along the notorious stretch that runs from Sobea-Salgaa-Migaa-Sachangwan-Total junction near Mau Summit shopping centre-Kamara and Makutano.