Somali capital bans auto rickshaw imports amid traffic congestion


Mogadishu’s local government has decided to ban the importation of auto-rickshaw vehicles (tuk-tuk), in an attempt to scale down congestion and improve the city’s traffic safety record.

The three-wheeler auto-rickshaws are one of the main modes of public transport in Mogadishu which has seen a new spike in the traffic accidents and congestions in recent years. But they are identified as a major cause of traffic accidents.

The ban announced by the Mogadishu mayor Abdirahman Omar Osman Saturday imposes an indefinite ban on imports of auto rickshaws into the city as parts of new attempts to decongest the city, saying that rickshaws account for a big share in deadly accidents in the Somali capital.Besides the traffic congestions that Mogadishu currently faces, experts blamed a fundamental lack of infrastructure for the city’s problems.According to Mr. Osman, the ban will ease the challenges of the increasing jams but did not elaborate.

With an over 2 million population, Mogadishu has also seen a rapid expansion of its middleclass that many said have multiplied demands for more cars and rickshaws.

The ban, parts of series of new reforms aimed restoring law and order into the long-chaotic horn of Africa nation which is recovering from decades of war follows a recent ban on imports of right-hand vehicles by Somali government also blamed for causing deadly traffic accidents.

According to officials, right-hand drive cars cause multiple deadly road accidents across Somalia every year.