Is Kisumu destined to be the first major town in Kenya without traffic jam? That question has been lingering lately as massive road constructions, mostly initiated during the grand coalition government get completed, easing traffic flow in western Kenya.
Several roads have been opened up including a dual carriage ways to the central business district (CBD). Fly-overs have also been built in various points of the town including Nyamasaria, Kondele and Bandani areas to divert traffic from the town centre.
According to the county leaders, the business community and residents, the road network has improved region’s economic potential with several investors eyeing the region. Accidents have also been reduced by more than half.
Governor Jack Ranguma said this was one rare advantage Kisumu has over other cities that are marred with unbeatable traffics that often affect businesses and important events.
“Most people who are new to the city plan to go to the airport two hours before their flights, because in most towns including Nairobi, Eldoret, Kisii and Nyeri, you have to plan ahead to beat the jam if you must arrive to your destination on time. But Kisumu’s CBD is very accessible even during supposed rush hours,” he said. The region that was previously dominated by snarl ups and incessant road accidents is now the easiest to navigate, earning the lake side town the title of the city without traffic jams.
Travelling from the CBD to the airport takes only five minutes.
Chamber of Commerce executive member Israel Agina said the easy traffic flow was a great advantage to the business fraternity as goods get to the market on time.
However, he noted that there were still gridlock along the Kisumu-Kakamega route where the contractor has taken more than five years to complete the road.
The road is expected to also have another flyover to separate the traffic to Mamboleo Estate from those heading to Kakamega and destinations beyond.
“This affects businesses towards Kakamega and Bungoma,” said Mr Agina.
“Feeder roads within Kisumu should also be worked on including the rough path leading to Impala Sanctuary, Dunga Beach, Kiboko Bay and other tourists’ destinations.”
The Dunga Road is earmarked for construction by the national government, but the date of project launch is still not known.
Amex Automotive Company that deals in spare parts, for instance, chose to establish their main office in Kisumu, and branches in Nairobi and other areas, due to its ease in doing business.
“Kisumu has no traffic jams. If you set a particular time to do something, traffic will not be the reason you will fail to do so, unlike Nairobi,” said managing director Davesh Patel.
Adapted from the Business Daily