Jigjiga city transport crises left hundreds in chaos ahead of Eid-Alfitr

By Ahmed Abdi Abdulahi

shortage of transport services cause outrage to commuters in Jigjiga ahead of the Eid-Fitr celebration on Saturday presumably.

As last ten days of the Holy month of Ramadan nears to its end, people shopping for Eid-end of-Ramadan celebration have doubled nearly two times from usual causing massive transport chaos in the city. Hundreds of thousands of people came out to the downtown for eid shoppings defying public health orders and CoronoVirus warnings. City transport services were already in criss during the holidays and rush hours. Now As people began to buy eid clothes and gifts for their family and children, a drive though the downtown became nearly impossible leaving hundreds stranded in major roads in the city. People could be seen queuing up along the bus stopes waiting for minibuses and TukTuks for long hours causing delays and even cancellations of people’s daily routines. Recently Jigjiga transport bureau had set out a range of transport rules on major transportation services including the TukTuk-Bajaajs, which is the main transport services operating in the city which is part of the government’s efforts to halt the spread of Covid-19. The rules include three people ride in on TukTuk and six on mini buses. The limitations on the number of travelers are part of the government’s top agendas on fighting the pandemic.

The government had also imposed a total curfew on Jigjiga which goes effect from 8:00pm to 6:00am restricting all types movements From and into the city. Anyone Caught traveling on bus, vehicle or TukTuk is handed out a fine and can even result in imprisonment. These traffic rules have doubled the number of pedestrians along the city’s main Roads overnight. Despite the outrage, some obese individuals took advantage out of the deserted roads walking and jogging few miles every night re-shaping their bodies and drawing the attention of many overweight persons, a move, some fitness experts hail the process as “massive body transformation”. no government official has Spoken about the crises so far as pressure is growing up on what people can do to have a better and accessible transport services. Jigjiga is the largest Somali region state-city and currently hosts roughly 1 millions people -based on estimation,’- but public transports remain extremely critical. Major city transports include TukTuks and few buses.

Eid is a time when Muslims across the world end their month-long fasting and begin three days celebrations with families and friends. It’s a time when people do an extensive shopping excursions, buying clothes and gifts. This Ramadan is so different as it sounds with the coronavirus causing so much mess on lives of people in the world and particularly this tiny developing region. in medium-sized cities like Jigjiga, public transport buses are often not accessed when needed and sometimes arrive with much delays. Any JigJigaawi can see how stranded people can be when they wait for buses and TukTuks for long hours and see no bus is arriving either. The government is doing nothing to respond to this crises but people continue to walk miles on foot everyday and night raising the big question; where are the public transport services?

Commuters lining up for buses at 11:42am Jibriga-borough 10- Jigjiga

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