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We need more than edicts to resolve transport crisis in city



The Saturday Nation recently ran a brilliant article by Ng’ang’a Mbugua about transport in Nairobi. Going by their action, however, I doubt the Nairobi County officials ever read it. Like most Kenyans of whatever status, most of us depended on public transport when we started our working life. We had to depend on the much maligned matatus to get us there on time.

The matatu exists because the government has over the years neglected to invest in efficient public transport systems. Someone cannot, therefore, just wake up one morning and issue thoughtless directives that only punish innocent commuters.

We all saw what happened in Nairobi on Monday this week — anger, pain, anguish and untold suffering to the young, old, and infirm, due to the actions of people calling themselves public servants. Do they really understand what public service is? Public service is to make the lives of people better, not horrible and terrible in one fell swoop. Given there is a terrible mess in the transport system in the city, it cannot be solved by thoughtless edicts.

If there is no other way of getting the required financial resources, the government will have to delay other projects in the transport sector, such as Lapsett, SGR, airports and ports, and start implementing efficient mass transport systems for Nairobi and other cities that are urgently required by the majority of the people.