Are the Nairobi Expressway toll stations going to be labeled in Chinese?

By Alphonce Wadenya

As Nairobi’s 27.1 Kilometer-long expressway opens a new chapter in the city’s history of road development, this tweet has been making rounds on Twitter. It raises concerns about the language that would be used when labeling the expressway’s toll stations.

 The claim first appeared on Twitter on March 26, 2022. The allegations reached a community of 73,266 followers on Reddit, a social aggregation web. It was copied and shared on other accounts on both March 27 and 29.

screenshot of https://twitter.com/SokoAnalyst/status/1508017711787487232

Background

On September 25, 2018, the standard reported that China Communications Construction Company had finished drilling the longest railway tunnel in East Africa. In the photos taken at the event, a booth next to the tunnel and signboard are worded in Chinese and English. 

Courtesy: China Communications Construction Company limited

As the Nairobi-Mombasa highway nears completion, Kenyans on Twitter think that the China Communications Construction Company(CCCC)  will use Chinese language on the Nairobi expressway as they did with the signboards on the Standard Gauge Railway(SGR) tunnel in Ngong, Kajiado County pictured above.

Verification

The Deputy Director for Corporate Communication at KeNHA, Samwel Kumba spoke to Piga Firimbi in a phone call and declared that the expressway toll stations will not use Chinese to communicate to road users.

“I use the expressway every morning and evening, they are in English”, he affirmed. 

Additional video verification of user-generated content on the expressway doesn’t reveal any Chinese wording at the toll stations. Some close-up shots of the toll stations from the video are available here, here and here.

Verdict

No, the Chinese language will NOT be an official way to communicate to users of the Nairobi Expressway.

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