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Crisis on Garissa-Nairobi highway as speed boats suspend services at Kona Punda section

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A spot check by The Eastleigh voice reveals only six speed boats were currently operating at the Kona punda section of the Garissa-Nairobi Highway causing a crisis.

Long queues and frustrations were reported in Madogo, Tana River county, as most speed boats on the Kona Punda part of the Garissa-Nairobi highway ceased operations due to the River Tana floods receding.

Passengers from Nairobi and Garissa were forced to wade through waist-high flood waters to beat the crisis.



Fardowsa Abdi Aden and her two daughters were among hundreds of passengers stranded at Madogo.

She took a bus yesterday from Nairobi and was compelled to spend the night in Madogo in the home of a family she had never met before because they discovered a big queue of irate passengers from Nairobi who were all rushing to cross.

"We travelled from Nairobi at 10 a.m. and arrived by 4 p.m. only to find a long queue, passengers who came early in the morning were still in the queue, we had no other option but to look for where to spend at night, luckily we were helped by a good family", she told the Eastleigh voice.

Passengers queue from Nairobi crossing the Kona Punda. Photo: Issa Hussein


They managed to cross Thursday afternoon after spending, the early part of the day in a long queue. Mohamud Osman, who travelled from Nairobi on Wednesday, also described how he has been suffering since yesterday after standing in a long queue caused by the withdrawal of the majority of boats that provided quick services to passengers from Nairobi-Garissa and Garissa-Nairobi.

" I was frustrated after spending more than five hours in the queue and then being told it was the closing hours until morning, tears came out of my eyes, it was painful but thanks God I made it today," he said.

Ibrahim Osman, one of the speed boat operators who ceased operations, stated that the receding level of flood water caused numerous boat owners to discontinue operations.

"The level of the water was low and we feared the sticky mud to damage our boats", he said in a phone interview.

He said most who suspended their operation at the Kona Punda section moved to the Gamba-Lamu road section.

A spot check by The Eastleigh voice reveals only six speed boats were currently operating at the Kona punda section of the Garissa-Nairobi Highway causing a crisis.

The Kenya Navy and Coast Guard have also withdrawn their operation at the Kona Punda.

According to passengers interviewed the boat owners increased charges from Sh200 to Sh300 since yesterday.

The Kenya National Highway Authority also began repairing a section of the road, where the River Tana floods subsided.

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