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Kenyan Traffic Jam Clears After 60 Hours

  • Reuters

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Trucks stuck for 60 hours in a Kenyan traffic jam got moving again on Friday after officials opened another route, but haulage companies said they
had lost millions of shillings in trade.

Heavy rains swept away a stretch of road early on Wednesday, blocking lorries carrying goods to and from the Indian Ocean port of Mombasa, choking the main trade route into East Africa.

A day later, the tailback of around 1,500 trucks was 50 km (30 miles) long, said drivers, many of them stranded without drink or water.

"Our trucks did not move for over 60 hours. That is a lot of lost time and money in any business. We are still tabulating the figures but be sure we are talking about millions of shillings worth of losses," Willingtone Kiberenge, acting chief executive of the Kenya Transporters Association, told Reuters.

Country officials fficials eventually managed to divert traffic to another route set aside for a railway project as contractors started repair the road from Mombasa to the capital Nairobi.

"We have managed to get vehicles moving," said Kwale county commissioner Evans Achoki.

Mombasa funnels fuel and other vital goods to other parts of Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan and eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.