COMMENT

COMMENT: Pace of work on Expressway impressive

Project stands to revolutionize transport along the 20 kilometres stretch

In Summary

•Project is justified as it will help us retain Nairobi as a hub

Pokot south Mp and Transport Committee Chairman David Pkosing.
Pokot south Mp and Transport Committee Chairman David Pkosing.
Image: JACK OWUOR

I am satisfied with the pace of works on the Nairobi Expressway. It has even gone too fast. Kenyans will appreciate that something is happening, if you look at the work that is going on.

The project stands to revolutionise transport along the 20-kilometre stretch. There is already excitement among Kenyans who want the road to be completed as soon as possible. We went that way as a country so that we ease transportation between JKIA and the Nairobi CBD.

Take a case of someone who takes a flight of two hours from Johannesburg to come and do business in Nairobi, or say one who takes a four-hour flight from Dubai to Nairobi. Spending four hours coming from Dubai and then spending two hours on a road of fewer than 20km defeats the purpose of the trip and makes Nairobi less attractive as a business hub.

We are losing more than Sh50 million per day in earnings to traffic jams. These are facts that were laid bare when President Uhuru Kenyatta was launching the commuter railway. This is a terrible situation.

I once was to help someone catch a flight at 6am and I had a meeting at Safaricom at 10am. I spent more than two hours on Mombasa Road and arrived at Safaricom House in Westlands five minutes to 10am. I thought I’d return to my house for a cup of tea having woken up at 5am, but that was not possible.

It is thus true we are losing a lot of money to the jams in Nairobi, especially on Mombasa Road. Even now, you can’t ask someone to use that road because it has been slowed further by the ongoing works.

So for me, the project is justified as it will help us retain Nairobi as a hub. Without that, Nairobi will lose that status. This is the reason my committee is working hard to revive Kenya Airways.

We want KQ alive as soon as yesterday. With the discovery of a Covid-19 vaccine, Nairobi stands a chance to be the hub for distributing the vaccine all over Africa. Emirates are being appointed to supply vaccines in the entire world because Dubai is a hub. The same is possible with a revitalised KQ.

The environmentalists opposed to the project are busybodies who are only playing politics. Let us not mix activism with development.

The Pokot South MP and Transport committee chairman spoke to the Star