By Roy Hezron
Narok, Kajiado and Nakuru county leaders will now form a joint committee to help oversee smooth traffic flow along the Maai Mahiu- Narok – Mulot road after residents closed the road for hours recently when a speeding vehicle knocked down livestock.
The political and security team leaders led by Rift Valley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya, Narok Governor Samuel Tunai, Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui and Kajiado Deputy Governor Martin Mushusho came together after concern of rampant incidents where locals close the busy highway for up to ten hours when speeding vehicles knock down their livestock.
Addressing the media after a meeting held at Lake Naivasha Resort Natembeya observed that the regular road blockage causes huge traffic snarl-ups along the road that connects to the South western regions of the country as well as the Maasai Mara Game Reserve.
He said the leaders had signed a memorandum of understanding that the road will not be closed again on any grounds, as the committee put in place will come in immediately to resolve the disputes raised.
“We have agreed that the Maai Mahiu- Narok- Mulot road will never be closed again on any grounds because we will have a committee of local elders and security team who will come up with a quick solution,” said Natembeya.
At the same time, Natembeya said they have instructed Kenya National Highway Authority (KeNHA) to put proper signage on black spot areas and livestock crossing spots for motorists to be vigilant when approaching such areas.
The leaders also cautioned sand harvesters in the Suswa area along the highway that they should have a controlled way of harvesting the sand to avoid interfering with the motorists.
“Those that will be allowed in sand harvesting sites are the land owners, those loading the lorries and known stakeholders. We will not allow idlers at the site because they are the ones who are used to block the road when minor dispute arises,” observed Natembeya.
On his part, Governor Tunai said the incidents of blocking the road have impacted negatively on the county’s economy as tourists moving to the Maasai Mara game reserve are forced to delay for hours, sometimes postponing flights.
He said the three counties will cooperate to educate their residents on how to graze their livestock on the road reserve areas and how to direct their livestock while crossing the road.
Governor Kinyanjui on the other hand echoed their sentiments asking the residents to look for alternative ways of resolving their differences instead of blocking busy highways.
He called on the government through KeNHA to consider expanding the Maai Mahiu- Kandura road, along the escarpment to allow a smooth flow of traffic along the road.
Other leaders who were present during the meeting were Narok County Member of Parliament Soipan Tuya, Narok Senator Ledama Ole Kina, Narok East Member of Parliament Ken Kiloku and a host of Members of County Assembly; and three county commissioners from Narok, Nakuru and Kajiado and their security teams.