Concrete wall reduces accidents at notorious Salgaa blackspot in Nakuru county.

Sach Ang’wan blackspot in Nakuru county, is one of the most famous section of the Nakuru –Eldoret road, for claiming several lives throughout the years.

In 2009, a tanker ferrying petroleum oil overturned, and burst into flames, killing 347 people, who were trying to fetch the spilling petrol. This sent shivers across the whole East African region, and awakened the call for government to act to avert more loses.

In 2018, the government through the ministry of transport, expanded the 21 kilometer stretch, from Salgaa center to Sach Ang’wan, section of the Nakuru Eldoret highway, and erected concrete barrier, to separate the road making it a dual carriage way, at a cost of Ksh 500 million.

Jackson Munyau, a regular heavy truck driver along Nakuru Eldoret highway, lauds the move, saying it has given them peace of mind.

‘This blackspot has been my headache for a very long time, every time I start my journey from Mombasa, Salgaa blackspot has always been on my mind. Even my wife knows about it. But now I can say I am always relaxed while driving along this route, I don’t have to worry about it, these concrete barriers, and expansion of the road has really helped us’ He says.

The concrete barrier from Salgaa to Kibunja, along Nakuru Eldoret highway. Photo courtesy of Standard Digital.

According to the data from National Transport and safety Authority (NTSA), the concrete barrier has had a positive impact, immediately after the move. The traffic police data indicated that 50 accidents were reported, where 284 people were involved, 138 lost their lives, lower than the previous years.

In 2018, the numbers reduced to 23 accidents, with 22 deaths reported. The number of accidents along that dangerous stretch of the road, has been reducing, thanks to the interventions.

Residents of Sach Ang’wan, are thankful that now they don’t witness bloodshed in that area, as it used to be before.

‘We thank the government for those interventions, though I wish they should have done it earlier before the tanker deaths. We no longer have to witness bloody scenes due to accidents in this area, it was very traumatizing, sometimes you can’t sleep well at night, when you lay on your bed, the mind recalls the bad scenes during the day.’ Says Mercy Chepkemoi.

A large concrete head stone stands on top of the mass grave, along the roadside, bearing the names of the people who lost their lives, as a result of petrol tanker explosion, a reminder of what a dangerous road can do.

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