Syokimau Residents Petition KeNHA On Expressway Project
Syokimau Residents Association has petitioned the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) to retain the existing three U-turns on the four kilometres stretch between Gateway Mall and Mlolongo.
The U-turns are at Gateway/KAPA area; Nation/Mastermind area; and Civil Aviation/Mlolongo Weighbridge area. These interchanges would be lost with the building of the Nairobi Expressway because the design does not provide for entries between Gateway Mall and Mlolongo.
Consequently both vehicular and human traffic will not be able to cross from either side of the road with ease, as is the case currently
“We have been in consultations with our residents and business community along the same stretch to have their views on the same and we can confirm that they are equally concerned,’’ SRA Chairperson Juliet Karung’o says.
KeNHA has not come back to the residents and other stakeholders to inform them how the issues raised during a public participation exercise in November 2019 will be resolved. This has led to rising apprehension among residents that their concerns were not taken into account.
“It would be catastrophic to deny us what we already have. The project should bring improvement of quality of life, not the contrary. Therefore, a project re-design for this stretch is necessary,’’ she says.
The Syokimau neighbourhood is experiencing phenomenal population growth. Most of the middle-income families own multiple cars, estimate at more than 37,000 vehicles in total. The volume of traffic will worsen as the population growth is expected to triple in 10 years.
In addition, a long-standing petition for three foot-bridge at Katani Road, Kiungani Road and Airport Road intersections with Mombasa Road has remained pending for several years.
In recent years, we have witnessed many traffic accidents and pedestrian fatalities along the Syokimau stretch. There is rising human-vehicular traffic conflict in this stretch and action is needed urgently. We believe the footbridges will help resolve this problem and save lives.
The expressway contractors base camp and field site yard is based in Syokimau, at the border with Kenya Airports Authority land. Syokimau is therefore a host community for the contractor. We would therefore wish that our roads be considered for an upgrade as part of the project’s corporate social responsibility to build lasting relationships and improve residents’ quality of life.
Most of the road construction materials will come from Katani Quarries and will be transported through Syokimau. Inevitably, there will be wear and tear on our estate roads arising from the use in-transit to the expressway. The road we seek for consideration are the six-kilometre Airport Road, Mwananchi Road, which is four kilometres, Kiungani Road, which is five kilometres and the four-kilometre Parliament Road.
“Being a national project, the contractor may not provide meaningful employment opportunities to local residents, especially youth and women,’’ the residents association chairperson says. “A CSR intervention to the local community would create an impact that touches everyone in the local community.’’