Nairobi News

HashtagMust ReadNewsWhat's Hot

You can’t drink here! Areas Sakaja has ordered removal of wine and spirits

By Hilary Kimuyu February 25th, 2024 3 min read

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja has directed and ordered Tony Kimani, Chief Officer for Security to ensure that all wines and spirits around bus termini in the city are cleared within seven days.

The governor was speaking on Friday after receiving a report from the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) on the fatalities on Nairobi roads.

During a meeting he chaired that brought together the Matatu Owners Association (MOA) and officials from NTSA, Mr Sakaja expressed concerns about the number of people dying on the roads due to alcohol abuse.

“We will no longer allow disorder in the city, Nairobi is the capital city. We are working round the clock to ensure this. Today (Friday), I have directed the removal of all wines and spirits shops located around matatu terminals,” he said.

Also read: Kettle House Bar bouncers charged with assaulting journalists

According to the governor, drivers and touts are spending time in these wines and spirits that have turned into bars and drinking dens as they wait for customers. “We have lost loved ones due to recklessness on our roads because of alcohol and drug abuse.”

He called on NTSA and MOA to work together with his administration to put an end to the above menace, insisting that disorder in the county will not continue under his watch.

“We have lost loved ones due to recklessness on our roads because of alcohol and drug abuse. Nairobi is the capital city. We are working round the clock to ensure this,” charged the Governor.

In addition, he announced that he will be having a meeting with the traffic department, all OCPDs, DCI officers, National Government Administrative Officers (NGAO), and ward and county administrators to ensure that the menace is addressed.

Latest data from the NTSA shows that as of January 7, there were 508 road crash victims, with the majority classified as seriously injured (234), followed by minor injuries (190) and fatalities (84).

Of the 84 fatalities, the majority were pedestrians, followed by motorcyclists, passengers, drivers, pillion passengers and pedal cyclists.

Also read: List of famous celebrities that serial sex offender John Matara targeted

Pedestrians lead the way with 31 fatalities compared to 28 last year, closely followed by motorcyclists with 23 fatalities, a slight decrease from 24 in 2023.

Drivers are in third place with seven having lost their lives in road accidents, compared to six in the same period last year.

Six passengers were killed this year compared to seven in the same period last year, while only one pedal cyclist had died in an accident this year in the period under review.

In its draft National Road Safety Action Plan 2023-2027, the NTSA says a number of national and county government agencies are currently underfunded to deliver safety-related services.

These include the NTSA, the Kenya National Highways Authority (Kenha), the police and county health authorities.

“The annual socioeconomic losses in Kenya as a result of road crashes are estimated to be more than Sh450 billion. There is a need to sustainably finance road safety programmes and cost-effective safety investments in Kenya over the next decade,” says NTSA.

According to the NTSA, many accidents occur on the Northern Corridor, which accounts for the high percentage of fatalities.

“Five roads in Nairobi County, representing two per cent of the road network, account for 36 per cent of all fatal crashes in the country,” said NTSA Director-General George Njao.

Also read: List of businesses in Switzerland owned by Denis Schweizer, Akothee’s ex-husband

The five roads are Thika Superhighway, Outering Road, Mombasa-Nairobi Highway, Eastern Bypass and Northern Bypass.

The safety agency says fatal crashes are highly concentrated in time. Twenty-six per cent of crashes in Nairobi (30 per cent of crashes nationally) occur between 7 pm and 10 pm.

Last year, Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen said that drunk driving, speeding, non-use of seat belts and helmets, and unsafe crossing of the road by pedestrians were the main causes of accidents and injuries.

Murkomen also said most accidents, especially in the cities, occurred on Friday evenings and Monday mornings, with a notable correlation to drunk driving.

“We have seen a troubling trend where private vehicles are engaging in serious driving violations, contributing significantly to the alarming accident rates. Unfortunately, these incidents are not only tragic losses but also detrimental to the economy,” he said at the time.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than 1.35 million people die on the world’s roads each year and up to 50 million suffer non-fatal injuries as a result of road traffic crashes.