Tuesday, April 24, 2007

of roads and GNU

last week on a road trip to the west of the country, i made some interesting observations. hitherto , i have been avoiding the naivasha nakuru stretch by going through narok, kaplong sondu and so on. but this time, thanks to little inconveniences we had to go through that road. refreshingly the road from naivasha to gilgil is now perfect apart from the fact that its still single lane and there are hundreds of trailers and long haul trucks not to mention the murderous buses. one would have thought that the govt could take this opportunity to put up a dual carriage once and for all. its quite disappointing that in 2007 we are still making narrow single lane roads. however the constructor has done a great job and the people from these areas have every reason to vote for the govt of the working nation. in naivasha there are heavy works on the roads and most old roads have been diverted. however the diversion from gilgil going to nakuru is quite long and passes some quite muddy areas. as expected, the trucks broke down several times on these diversions and for one and a half hours we were stuck on that road. all you had to do was switch off the engine and admire the landscape.

in nakuru, it apears that a dual carriage is being made through the town. and there is visibly a lot of government. until you leave the town. then you are on your own, the country stops working. all the way to kericho and beyond. even the road to eldoret is in unspeakable state. some portholes are so large they can conceal a whole sedan. the poor workmanship of moi years clearly visible.

at kedowa, on the kericho road, we found a truck which had overturned on hitting a matatu and spilling its diesel.(why do we still ferry fuel in trucks on the road?) though it was night the locals turned out in large numbers to welcome the precious liquid. at this point too we simply switched off the engine since there was no movement. however i was sweating in my seat, since there was smell of fuel all over, it was a disaster waiting to happen. i prayed that those 'hard' working locals scooping the diesel would not answer to the call of a puff. else we would be nyama choma.

if you thought portholes were bad , trying driving on these roads at night. you can hardly see them and the situation is made worse by motorists who do not bother to dim their lights on approaching you! the rest of the journey was a nightmare. a true testimony of moi's call that siasa mbaya maisha mbaya. i wonder how many times these guys visit the mechanic.

we had our late supper in kericho. a whole chicken cost 1K but going by its long limbs, it was probably worth it. however the chicken roasted at midlands was not anywhere near the chickens i have eaten since i was a toddler. it was the most tasteless chicken i ever had! and again it was suspiciously long.

that chicken was did not prepare us well for the torture of the kericho kisumu stretch and when by the grace and might of God (i believe he loves even those whose MPs are in the opposition) we got to Kisumu, we were too exhausted to proceed. the bed rates in K-city are quite high but the young lovely girl offered to give us a discount as long as we did not require a receipt and promised her that we would not attempt to take breakfast. we told her that we were already one day late from our destination and we did not have time for breakfast. k-city is a decent city and there are no young women on the streets calling out to your money. even the lodges are devoid of drunkards trooping in with girls on sale. quite a welcome break from the Nairobi menace

now that was one way, the story repeated itself on the return journey.
However on a lighter note, airfare to k-city has come down to 3500/= return before taxes. much better than spending all that fuel in the jam and still having to repair the car. the planes take only 25 minutes to the city.


  1. Welcome back! I understand that the European Union and the flower growers have contributed a lot towards Road Works in the Naivasha area - reason for the stark difference.

  2. How I wish the roadworks had been professionally done years back and well maintained thereafter. But as they say, 'this is Kenya'. I hear we are doing away with roundabts along Msa Rd all the way to westlands with work starting in 4 mths time.

    Abt the chicken, I can only hope you did not partake of marabou stork at Kericho. Reminds of the kuku chomas I saw being sold along Kampala Streets some years while on a college visit. Some colleagues could not have any of stuff fearing that the source of the 'chicken' was the gabbage hips around the city which interestingly have huge flocks of the birds.

  3. China build great roads for their exporters. The idea is to REDUCE the cost & time to transport goods for export!

    It is a pity that the private sector has to force these issues nevertheless, it is time to "privatise" these highways thus allowing for better infrastructure all around!

    You might love your kuku... but after reading this... better to be a vegetarian!!!

  4. I would tear that chingoho vibaya sana. Unless it's one of those old jogoos that grow kucha on their feet and lay small eggs. But hi!!, they have the best chicken soup. I still remember how we used to slaughter them late at night and let the soup boil all night.

    On roads. I am so disturbed by Kimunya's KShs 1.3 billion subsidy to Kengen. Why can't we use that money to repair our roads? The subsidy will benefit few shareholders but the road would benefit millions of Kenyans.

  5. Kenyanomics..i agree..the Kimunya subsidy is even benefitting me and i am in another continent. We are bleeding the country dry in the gospel of privatization. How many Kenyan investors own Kengen now? Slowly, foreigners have bought out the Wanjiku's at NSE. It is the same Kimunya want to reward.

  6. Wow, reading what you saw on your trip to Kisumu affirms that the disparity in Kenya is huge. There is still plenty to be done but I am a strong believer that Kenya is heading in the right direction. Sorry for the tormentious trip, I guess you will think twice before deciding to drive.

  7. @that sounds nice but i wish they would also insist that the roads be dual
    @dollar man, i heard about the round about in the news. its very exciting. i only wondered how the matatus will behave in a + junctions. when i think of the posible gridlock. i cringe! such infrastructure needs a lot of discipline from drivers. by the way, i kept on thinking of the marabou stork!

    @coldi, i agree, one wishes the private sector did not have to run the country. but then...Coldi it would be some great work to divorce my chicken. even after kericho , i still had it at home!

  8. @kenyanomics, i know the ones you are talking about and mentioning their soup like that is really giving me ideas....

    @anon, true very true

    @hoseah, i agree most of what is going on is good only that its not benefiting all kenyans. one hopes that in this day and age, we would look at the bigger picture and treat everyone right


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.