Traffic jam brings Naivasha to a halt in wake of rally fanfare

Monday, June 27th, 2022 03:51 | By
Traffic jam brings Naivasha to a halt in wake of rally fanfare
Massive gridlock as WRC fans throng Naivasha town to watch the just-concluded motor race. PD/PHILLIP KAMAKYA

Traffic on major roads in Naivasha was paralysed for hours yesterday as hordes of revellers arrived in town for the World Rally Championship (WRC).

Tens of motorists were forced to spend the better part of Saturday night on the roads due to massive gridlock that lasted over eight hours. The Moi South Lake Road, where several music events had been organised, was a hectic site as drivers overlapped and parked by the roadside.

Although security agents had banned hawking and parking by the roadside, the contrary was the order of the day, with criminals taking advantage to rob revellers.

Till wee hours

The snarl-up started from 7pm and was cleared in the wee hours of Sunday morning. It is then that revellers retreated to their rest-rooms before the last day of the rally.

Naivasha OCPD Samuel Waweru blamed the jam on the high number of musical events organised in the same location. He said there were about six music events within a distance of two kilometres, adding that lack of enough parking space aggravated the snarl-up.

“Our officers worked very hard to make sure that traffic was flowing. But some overlapping drivers worsened the situation. This was gradually resolved,” he said.

A driver, Sam Wanjohi, who was heading to Nakuru from Oserian, also attributed the jam to overlapping and parking by the roadside.

He said he was stranded on Moi South Lake Road for five hours, inconveniencing his plans as he was supposed to drive to Nakuru and back.

“People were drinking alcohol by the road; others blocked the way while many others were robbed of their mobile phones,” he said.

Made a killing

Trader Ann Wangari, however, termed the jam a blessing in disguise, noting that they made a killing by selling wares to stranded motorists.

“Many revellers stuck in the jam needed water, alcohol and snacks. We were there to serve them,” she said.

Meanwhile, a lorry that had been stolen after delivering essential materials for the Safari Rally was recovered in Loitoktok.

The truck had been stolen on the Naivasha-Mai Mahiu Road in unclear circumstances before police tracked it down.

“We have arrested the driver. His story is not adding up. Now we are tracking the suspects who managed to escape before we recovered the lorry,” said the OCPD.

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