Geting around in Nairobi
13 March 2012, 12:08
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Getting in and out of the Nairobi Central Business District during the rush hours is a nightmare which every commuter dreads would not come true.
Thinking of the traffic jam that prolongs as many hours as it wishes not only proves time-wasting but also an inconvenience to a majority of city workers.
Talk of the high fares by the public service vehicles and every commuter will have a story to tell, no matter which side of the metropolitan city one resides.
Alternative Railway transport
Considering these two inescapable challenges, everyone working in the city and unable to balance this equation has only found a Saviour in the railway transport. This is attributable to the fact that a train is never caught in traffic jam nor does it hike fares in regard to the influx of passengers. For this reason, sincere compliments go to the Rift Valley Railway Company; also for ensuring that there are trains plying through some routes within the city.
Nonetheless, it seems there are matters of great concern which the said company has not been able to address in relation to the security of its customers.
In every terminus where the trains pick or drop people, hardly will one notice security personnel purposely inspecting what gets in and out the train. With all due respect, this can only be described as negligence of the highest level, especially at such a time when we are faced with ferocious terror threats from all sides both internally and externally.
For one to assume that it is well with commuters who are congested to a capacity of a hundred people per cabin; and a total of not less than twenty full cabins (thus amounting to approximately 2000 passengers in one train), this can only amount to irresponsibility.
Reports from one of the staff, who preferred to remain anonymous for job security reasons, indicated that once,the company tried to conduct an inspection after the government's directive. The long queue extended as far as Kencom and thus they opted to abandon the exercise altogether. Hence,the citizens were left at the mercies of fate.
But ironically, one thing that the security officials would never fail to check is the travel ticket at the exit-cum-entrance to the central station-which again acts as bigger risk in case of any doom-considering the fact that the few doors are hardly more than four meters each, against the Nairobians competing for the first chance to leave the station and also report to work in time. Think of a commotion. Think of a stampede. Think of the disaster in wait.
This is a catastrophe that is staring at everyone of us yet we are all ignoring.The few policemen either on-board or at the railway station are not less victims in the wake of such an advent.
In every perspective, it is the prerogative of the RVR to ensure the safety of its customers even without being reminded. It should only be fair to admit that it is the common mwananchi whom the company is neglecting that keeps them in business with his few coins yet in thousands.
Again, one is left wondering whether the government is not aware of such an ordeal.
May it be known that majority of the train users do so because they cannot afford any other means of transport, yet this does not limit their right to life and security.
They are citizens who contribute largely to the economy of this nation just like any other person and therefore their interests should not only be guarded but also attended to at all times.
If an institution fails in meeting up to those expectations, the government has all mechanisms to restore sanity just for the sake of the citizens whom the Constitution seeks to safeguard.
This is a loud cry which even a deaf ear cannot afford to ignore.
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