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Motorists spend night on Suswa jam as floods cut off road, again

Wednesday April 24 2019

Narok-Mai Mahiu floods

Motorists wait in traffic on April 23, 2019, following heavy rains that cut off Narok-Mai Mahiu road. PHOTO | GEORGE SAYAGIE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

GEORGE SAYAGIE
By GEORGE SAYAGIE
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Hundreds of motorists spent several hours in a traffic snarl up on Tuesday night on as floodwaters cut off Narok-Mai Mahiu road, again.

With heavy traffic jam stretching several kilometres on both sides, motorists from both directions began to overlap worsening the situation.

Narok East sub-county police commander Benjamin Mwanza blamed the mess on indisciplined and impatient drivers and urged them to respect traffic rules.

Mr Mwanza said heavy rains in Mount Longonot led to the depositing of silt, debris and heavy stones on the road making it impassable.

Motorists spent up to seven hours on the stretch before more police officers arrived to control traffic flow.

FLASH FLOODS

According to Oldarpoi Camp manager Nelson Ole Reyia, who was on his way to the his camp in the Maasai Mara game reserve, he had been stuck at the stretch from 5:30pm on Tuesday evening to about 1am Wednesday.

The flash floods from Mt Longonot took motorists by surprise as there had been no heavy rain in the area.

"Motorists are desperately waiting for the floodwaters to subside. This happened yet there hasn't been heavy rain in this area," said Ms Naomi Mwangi, a passenger in one of the vehicles caught in the jam, adding that the floodwaters came with debris.

The section of the road that was cut off is the same one that was washed away after heavy rains in 2018.

HIGH ALERT

On Tuesday, the Kenya National Highway Authority (KeNHA) issued an alert to motorists along the Mai Mahiu – Suswa road that that following heavy rainfall a section of the road near the SGR Crossing at KM23 from Mai Mahiu, just before Suswa, has been overtopped by floods, causing heavy siltation at the section.

Mr Charles Njogu, KeNHA’s assistant director of Corporate Communication said the Authority had mobilised two contractors to clear the heavy siltation and restore traffic flow.

“KeNHA urges all motorists to be on high alert, and not to attempt to cross any bridges or sections of the road that are overtopped by water,” he added in the press statement on Tuesday night.