By Christine Lagat NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s businessman Ben Maina used to grapple with hours of
traffic snarl up while driving along Nairobi’s Outering Road before it was
upgraded into a dual carriage way by China’s SINOHYDRO Corporation.
aged entrepreneur regretted heavy losses incurred while transporting merchandise
to his clients due to traffic gridlock that was synonymous with the road before
interview with Xinhua on Wednesday Maina was upbeat as he narrated how a
gridlock free drive along the 13 kilometers dual carriage way has injected fresh
vitality into his printing business.
an entrepreneur for the last ten years, I can say without fear of contradiction
that traffic congestion along Outer ring road undermined my quest for success,”
The father of
three left formal employment to establish a mid-sized printing business in a
working suburb located on the eastern edge of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.
painful experience with traffic snarl up as he struggled to build his business
from scratch never dissuaded him from dreaming for a better tomorrow.
ministry of transport announced partial opening of Outer ring road in late July,
Maina and his business associates sighed with relief aware that the days of
traffic snarl up and attendant lost man hours were over.
into a four lane dual carriage way has nevertheless unleashed an avalanche of
benefits that include ease of movement to densely populated suburbs and the
industrial heartland of this capital where majority of my clients are found,” he
relationship with clients has improved tremendously since it is now possible to
deliver goods ahead of schedule now that traffic jam along outer ring road has
been confined to the dust bin of history,” said Maina.
He is among
thousands of Nairobi’s budding entrepreneurs and working class people who are
relishing the partial opening of Outer ring road.
China-built four lane dual carriage way is not only an architectural marvel but
has as well revitalized urban renewal in a rapidly developing metropolis.
officials are optimistic that an upgraded outer ring road will not only
revolutionize urban transport but also stimulate commerce in Nairobi’s densely
populated eastern suburbs.
the Acting Director General of Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA), said in an
opinion piece published by a local daily in August that outer ring road will
pave way for fast and efficient movement of people and goods in Nairobi and its
road is expected to improve accessibility to the Eastlands area, reduce travel
time for commuters and increase property value besides boosting the general
business environment for informal traders,” Kinoti said.
sentiments were shared by ordinary Kenyans who previously endured hours of agony
in traffic gridlock while commuting to work or residential premises.
a real estate agent in his early 50s, said that an upgraded outer ring road has
transformed his business within a short period.
The father of
four told Xinhua that his relationship with clients has improved since he is
able to commute to their stations in record speed using a taxi or public service
outer ring road was expanded, I used to quarrel with clients since it took hours
to meet them for a business transaction due to traffic jam,” said Okumbe.
has now been closed with the opening of a dual carriage way where vehicular
traffic jam does not arise at any time of the day,” he added.
Development Bank (AfDB) provided 80 million U.S. dollars for the upgrade of the
road that commenced in late 2014 and is expected to be completed before the end
of the year.
It is part of
a long-term master plan to revolutionize road transport in Nairobi’s
metropolitan region in a bid to stimulate investments in key sectors like
manufacturing, retail and financial services.
reside in the densely populated Nairobi’s eastern suburbs have enjoyed a hassle
free commute to their work stations since the upgraded outer ring road became
Chagema, a middle aged financial expert, who lives in a gated neighborhood
adjacent to outer ring road said its upgrade has enhanced his productivity at
half an hour to commute to the office in Nairobi’s central District unlike
previously when I could spend hours in traffic jam when outer ring road was very
narrow and full of potholes,” said Chagema.
that modern apartments, glitzy shopping malls and restaurants have sprung up in
areas served by the upgraded version of outer ring road.