Traders in Pipeline estate, Embakasi, have taken over a section of an important service lane that feeds into the recently completed Outering Road.
The stretch which runs from the railway-line crossing point, at the populous Pipeline bus stop, through to the main roundabout area hugging the Northern Airport Road, is a typical market.
Motorists and pedestrians are often forced to share whatever remains of the road – which makes it dangerous to walk on the road as one can easily be ran over.
The ‘new market’ has only added to the general confusion in an area said to be one of the most populated estates in Nairobi.
The absence of walkways or footpaths is visible as a blend of irregular and unregulated high-rise flats teeming with humanity compete for space.
Indeed, the danger is quite visible – even to the traders who have paraded their goods on the already crowded road.
“A few people have been ran over on this service lane either by riders or matatus. That’s because there is nowhere to walk,” said James Kamau who has been living in Pipeline for six years.
The danger often increases tenfold during the evening hours when the city train drops thousands of passengers looking to cross to either side of the Outering road.
“It’s not very easy to walk on this stretch because traders have taken a better part of the road, leaving the other half to motorists, riders and unfortunately pedestrians,” Steve Ogalo, a resident of Pipeline told Wananchi Reporting.
“At some point we used to walk on the covered sewer line, but these too have been taken by the traders who spread their goods on them,” added Ogalo.
One trader told Wananchi that they moved to occupy a section of the road after being left with nowhere to go following the upgrade of the Outering Road.
The upgrade also saw a long stretch of metal barrier erected on either side of the railway line – which blocked people from crossing the railway line at any point.
Left with very limited space, the traders took over pavements, sewer lines, and the road.