RESTORING ORDER

Heavy commercial vehicles banned from Kisumu CBD

Directed to use Kondele Bypass as city manager moves in to create a friendly environment for business.

In Summary

• Acting city manager Abala Wanga says those who fail to comply will be punished.

• The city has been undergoing transformation, with traders relocated from the streets to alternative places to create space for development.

Acting Kisumu city manager Abala Wanga addresses the press on Anderson Estate.
Acting Kisumu city manager Abala Wanga addresses the press on Anderson Estate.
Image: MAURICE ALAL

Acting Kisumu city manager Abala Wanga has issued a notice directing heavy commercial vehicles to use Kondele Bypass and not the central business district.

In the notice dated January 5, Wanga said the vehicles will not be allowed into the CBD from January 11. He also blocked trucks from entering downtown. They have been directed to use the Kachok Bypass and join Busia Road at the Golf Club roundabout.

The directive, Wanga said, took effect on December 21, 2020. He said the move targets to restore order and reduce traffic snarl-ups in the city.

Wanga urged drivers and owners of the vehicles to comply with the notice to avoid punishment.

“The county government shall move in and tow such trucks without further reference to the owners and at their own risk,” he said.

Wanga copied the notice to county secretary Godfrey Kigochi, county commissioner Josephine Ouko, county police commander Ranson Lolmodoni, Traffic base commander Paul Kessio and director of city inspectorate Samuel Orimba. They are to help in its enforcement.

The city has been grappling with traffic jams at Kisumu Boys roundabout, which is the intersection of Kisumu-Busia, Kisumu-Nairobi and Kisumu-Kakamega highways.

Last year, Wanga also barred town service vehicles from accessing the CBD. The vehicles were required to end their trip at Kisumu Boys roundabout.

Vehicles from Siaya-Kisumu and Bondo-Kisumu routes have also been blocked from entering the CBD and are required to turn at Patel Flats roundabout.

Wanga said they want to make Kisumu clean, orderly and conducive to business. They are building a modern bus park at Nyamasaria Satellite for Sh99.8 million.

On December 4, 2020, the county government ordered bus companies operating stations with the CBD to relocate out of town by New Year. Wanga told the companies to move to alternative stations.

In a notice, he said the city has powers under the Urban and Cities Act, 2011, to issue such directives as most buses are operating offices within the main bus park in town.

Buses such as Easy Coach, Guardian, Periska and Ena Coach have offices within the CBD and have to vacate following the directive Action will be taken against companies that will fail to comply.

Through donor funding, the city has been implementing beautification projects. Such projects include the Sh241 million non-motorised transport (NMT), which is meant to ensure pedestrians and cyclists enjoy improved convenience, comfort, and safety.

Under the NMT, a Sh37 million market called Chichwa was constructed. Its stalls accommodate 518 traders, while its open-air section has 240 others.

The market has water reticulation, electricity, spacious stalls, security services, and controlled trading areas. It also has three ultramodern ablution blocks.

It is funded by the World Bank through the State Department of Urban Development under the Kenya Urban Support Programme.

 

Edited by Kiilu Damaris