Kenyans stuck in 3 day Traffic Jam

Mombasa-Nairobi traffic jamImage copyrightNTV
Image captionSome people have been stuck in the jam for more than 48 hours

Kenyan traffic police have been deployed to try and ease a massive traffic jam which has lasted three days along the main highway between Mombasa and the capital, Nairobi.

The road is crucial for the region’s economy as it links the port of Mombasa to landlocked countries.

The worst-affected area is around Taru, about 80km (50 miles) from Mombasa.

Correspondents say the jam has been caused by repairs being done to the road after recent heavy rains.

Mombasa-Nairobi traffic jamImage copyrightNTV
Image captionThe highway for transporting goods from Mombasa port

Traffic jams are common in Kenya and are often caused by its badly maintained road network.

Passenger buses and lorries taking goods to Nairobi and beyond were among the stranded vehicles.

One motorist told Kenya’s private NTV station that some had been stuck in the queue for 48 hours.

“I have not eaten anything. I am told there are so many vehicles held up in the traffic jam.”

Mombasa-Nairobi traffic jamImage copyrightNTV
Image captionThe distance from Mombasa to Nairobi is about 500km

It is only the traffic heading towards Nairobi that is affected by the hold-up.

Some trucks that tried to turn off the single carriageway onto the scrub land alongside have become stuck in the mud.

Truck stuck in mud in KenyaImage copyrightNTV
Image captionThere has been heavy rain in Kenya this week

The BBC’s Mohammud Ali Mohamed in Nairobi says there is a railway between Mombasa and Nairobi but it is old, unreliable and takes several days make the 500km journey.

Those that can afford it – and do not have heavy loads – tend to fly between the cities as there are hourly flights, he says.