Good People, there is a growing concern that will soon, if it has not already, shoot out of proportion; the increasingly worsening levels of congestion in our cities and towns.
I draw a particular instance to the afternoon of Tuesday in the Capital City as the sun was hurrying to bed, sending people rushing home from a daunting day at the places of employment.
Like everyday nowadays, it came to pass at this hour that the city roads seemed to have taken much more traffic than they should.
The traffic jam was worsening and so was the drivers’ unease. speeds and longer trip times were on the unavoidable menu.
For those familiar with Lilongwe the Capital City, a distance between Kamuzu Central Hospital and Amina roundabouts, a strip less than a kilometre, was surely going to take over 20 minutes.
Chaos was the order as vehicles haphazardly filtered into the two roundabouts, amid deafening honking and impatient gestures by drivers.
And sadly, in the middle of it all was anambulance caught in the thicket of time and disorder. The driver of the ambulance desperately honked and hooted for space as he wanted to make it to Kamuzu Central Hospital.
But there was not much that could be done to help out. It was a sad situation as people I supposed were guardians desperately peeped out of the windows at the back of the ambulance to see for themselves the web that had caught their hopes of making it to hospital as urgently as it ought to have been.
You see what, one central characteristic of a city’s appeal is the ease of traffic access. We are already short on that attribute and soon traffic jams will hit the unenviable levels of Accra in Ghana or Nairobi in Kenya.
Staring at such reality, it is no rocket science to gauge we are at the brink total chaos. It will soon take five hours from Limbe to Blantyre on the Masauko Chipembere Highway or three hours from Old Town to City Centre in Lilongwe.
The near future looks hazy because congestion is a cost to business and social freedom.
Solving this problem must be a national priority, and one we must immediately start planning to address.
And before I forget, the other day near Amina roundabout I witnessed how some unscrupulous souls in Lilongwe make ends meet at the back of such traffic jams.
I saw a guy force his hand into a vehicle through a half open window, making away with a handbag.
Before the lady driver would compose herself to dart out of the vehicle and call for help, the bandit had disappeared through the thicket of vehicles and off into the overgrown bushes on the roadside.n