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Poor roads dog Madaraka estate

Poor drainage on Madaraka estate in Nairobi.PHOTO DAVID NJAAGA/STANDARD

NAIROBI: Barely five kilometres away from the central business district, one would except an extension of the city’s near-perfect roads. But a main feature of Madaraka estate, a middle-class residential area, is the poor state of roads.

The 1.5km Ole Sangale Road stretching from the Nairobi West roundabout through the estate all the way to Strathmore Business School is characterised by huge potholes.

This has been a major concern for residents and business operators for some time. John Maina, a resident, said they had suffered close to three years and called on the county government to take responsibility for repairing the road.

“We spend about 10 minutes on the road instead of, at most, two minutes due to the poor state,” he said.

Drivers struggle to manoeuvre over worn out bumps and avoid numerous huge potholes harbouring water while making way for other motorists.

In contrast, a road leading past the university through the Madaraka Primary School route on the lower side is well tarmacked and maintained by the university.

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A watchman in one of the residential courts said there is a lot of traffic build up especially in the mornings and evenings as cars going in opposite directions try to make way for each other.

Coupled with the poor roads is an equally poor drainage system that is wearing down what remains of the roads. The entry to the small shopping centre is almost impossible to manage when it rains. And with the coming rains, things can only get worse.

“Hapa hakupitiki mvua ikinyesha, zile hoteli ziko chini ndio zinaumia zaidi kwa sababu maji inaingia ndani (You cannot pass here when it rains, and hotel operators on the ground floor suffer the most because their premises get flooded,” said Judy Wayua, a butchery attendant in the area.

Ms Wayua added that the open drainage around the building mixes with leaking sewage water, releasing a pungent smell and exposing occupants to health risks as they are forced to manoeuvre through the water either to gain entry into or out of the building.

Jua kali artisan Paul Gathatwa said the drainage problem has existed even when the road was earmarked for repairs.

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