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Reasons rain causes heavy traffic in Nairobi

Kenya Meteorological Department has issued an alert that heavy rainfall is expected in Nairobi and other parts of the country from February 27 to March 4.

Heavy traffic on a Kenyan road during the rainy season

Have you ever found yourself stuck in a seemingly endless traffic jam on a rainy day, wondering why the roads suddenly resemble parking lots?

The frustration of spending hours on the road can leave you questioning; why does traffic come to a grinding halt when it rains?

Let's unravel the mystery behind Nairobi's rainy-day gridlocks


One of the most noticeable impacts of rain on traffic is the significant drop in driving speeds.

Decreased visibility, coupled with the need for heightened caution, prompts drivers to slow down, creating bottlenecks that stretch for kilometres.

Rainfall also triggers caution among drivers, leading to overly apprehensive behavior behind the wheel.

The combination of reduced stability and increased reaction time builds up into congestion.


Just as umbrellas emerge when rain falls, so do cars flood the streets of Nairobi during stormy weather.

Many people who would have chosen to walk opt for the shelter of their vehicles or using public transport to avoid getting drenched.

This surge in car usage increased the volume of vehicles on the road, setting the stage for traffic snarl ups.


Nairobi's road infrastructure faces its own set of challenges when rain descends upon the city.

Potholes, already a menace in dry weather, transform into perilous traps filled with rainwater, increasing the risk of accidents and causing traffic jam.


Public transport, a lifeline for many Nairobians, faces its own set of challenges when it rains.

Matatus and buses navigate through flooded streets, often getting stuck or taking alternative routes, which can disrupt schedules and compound congestion.

Additionally, passengers may experience longer wait times as vehicles struggle to maneuver through the rain-soaked roads.

While the forecast may call for rain, it doesn't have to spell doom for your commute.


Kenya Meteorological Department has issued an alert that heavy rainfall is expected in Nairobi and other parts of the country from February 27 to March 4.

By adopting a few proactive measures, you can navigate rainy roads with greater ease and safety. Here are some tips to consider:

  • Reduce your speed but maintain a pace that ensures smooth traffic flow.
  • Exercise caution while driving, especially during reduced visibility and slippery conditions.
  • Keep your vehicle's lights on and ensure optimal visibility by maintaining a clear windshield.
  • Avoid sudden accelerations or heavy braking, opting instead for gentle maneuvers that promote stability.
  • Stay informed about road conditions and plan alternate routes if necessary to avoid congested areas.


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