What comes into your mind whenever the term Salgaa is mentioned? What kind of bells ring in your head whenever you hear of this name?
Salgaa is not a strange name among Kenyans and within Kenya’s mainstream media. This is the place that has proved to the deadliest and the bloodiest blackspot in Kenya.
Salgaa is a region along the Nakuru-Nairobi highway that has claimed thousands of innocent motorists as well as pedestrians due to frequent road accidents.
Just on the eve of the New Year, as Kenyans were busy and jubilantly waiting eagerly to usher in the New Year, five young and vibrant lives were lost at Salgaa.
Two days later, on the 2nd of January, before even Kenyans came to terms with the five lives that had been lost, an additional three lives were lost yet again at the same spot.
These deaths came just a few weeks after the government through the relevant authority made it mandatory for motorists to travel at 50 kilometers per hour while approaching the spot.
Despite these directives, lives are still being lost at the same spot and the economy of Kenya is feeling the heat.
Police have blamed reckless driving as well as most drivers being under the influence of drugs as a result of the numerous accidents. Residents on the other hand have blamed the government on being reluctant on addressing the issue especially in expanding the road which they say that it is narrow.
As the blame game continues, one fact remains clear that lives are being lost and that Kenya is losing a vibrant middleclass workforce.
Many employees have lost their lives at this place going with their skills as well as work experience to the grave. This has left many sectors with technological gabs that need to be filled as well as lowering the economic growth in such sector because some skills, after being lost is hard to find them and those found require extra training at the expense of the sector.
Breadwinners have also lost their lives at this spot living their families in economic turmoil with no one to turn to. Kids have had to drop out of schools as a result of their sole source of school fees perishing on a road accident.
A lot of money is also spend in the treatment of those injured, money that would have been useful somewhere else. Money and time is also spend on the planning of the funerals of those who have lost their lives, and because this money is not usually budgeted for, a financial void is often created.
The government can play a crucial role in making sure that accidents are evaded at this place. Making rules and regulations is one thing but implementing them is another thing.
The government should make sure that the 50 kilometers per hour rule is adhered to by deploying traffic police on the spot to ensure that the directive is followed to the latter. Traffic officers should be stationed at this place 27/7 and when an accident occurs due to reckless driving they should be tasked to explain.
The road also has to be expanded for this is one of the key reasons that has been blamed on the numerous accidents.
Article by Juma Fred.