Saturday, December 3, 2022
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Campaign to ban eating inside public vehicles

Travelling in Kenya can be a nightmare; apart from the occasional accidents, one has to contend with some passengers who can annoyingly eat non-stop.

Apart  from nauseating other passengers, it is actually an indication of a bad mannerism and lack of etiquette.

Before  one purchases chips and other foodstuffs to eat inside the vehicle, they should take into account that there are people who get unsettled stomachs due to the smell of food.

Travelling is inevitable, hence, the need to be concerned about each other’s welfare to make it a pleasant trip for

Unfortunately some of the passengers who eat in vehicles end up vomiting and it creates a lot of tension and apprehension inside the vehicle.

The  Chairman of Mololine Transport Company, Joseph Njoroge, is one of the proponents of banning eating inside public transport vehicles since it has proved an intricate task for an individual transport Sacco’s to manage.

“Government directives are easier to implement compared to persuasion or arguments with customers, some of who do not care about the comfort of other passengers,” he said.

He  said some mothers over-feed their children and they end up throwing up.

They  forget  that for a journey, lasting one to five hours, the children can actually manage without eating anything, as long as they have been fed from home.

He  urged mothers to train their children from an early age that eating and drinking is not done anywhere just because  there is a hawker shoving and thrusting juices, biscuits, bananas, boiled maize, and of late sugarcane through the  windows.

However, he  said  if  the children grow up seeing their parents or guardians eating inside their cars, or public transport  they perceive it as the norm.

While  in  actual  sense, eating is a must and hallowed for the nourishment of our bodies, it should be done at specific times and places.

“My  family training is that food is eaten at specific times and shared with family and friends in convenient places,
because there is nothing interesting or appealing about chewing and swallowing in public. To me, it shows lack of proper  mannerism and poor upbringing,” added Njoroge.

An interview with various passengers’ at the Nakuru Bus Terminus said some of the foods which are likely to nauseate other passengers were those with strong smells such as ripe bananas, roasted and boiled maize, chips and chicken, and fish.

But  Tabitha  Nanjala, a passenger in a Kakamega bound bus said, due to the increased hustling in life even time for a  proper meal had vanished.

However, she said being considerate of other people’s welfare was a mark of respect for oneself and if you must eat, then  drink soda, milk or fruit like a watermelon, which has no strong smell.

A  Public Health Officer in the County Peter Kimani said there were passengers who suffer from travel or motion sickness.

The condition is caused by a conflict between what the eye sees and what the delicate organs of the inner ear feel, during movement.

The eye adjusts to motion, but the inner ear does not, so the brain receives two opposing messages, and the result is  nausea.

Kimani  added that  if  you tend  to suffer from travel sickness, do not eat a large meal before or during a journey, and  avoid alcohol.

Instead, take regular small amounts of water to avoid dehydration. But he urged passengers to avoid unnecessary eating because it really affects those who suffer from travel or motion sickness.

“Nowadays eating is being overdone and adults are teaching young children poor eating habits which lead to overweight and depression issues because of some people eating not because they are hungry but to soothe their feelings,” he said.

He said there were many effective over-the-counter- remedies for travel sickness, most of which need to be taken before the commencement of the journey.

Alternatively, chew a few pieces of peeled fresh ginger root before and during the journey.

In clinical trials he said, ginger has proved more effective in preventing travel sickness than a number of over-the-
counter drugs, without causing drowsiness.

“Before you purchase those chips, please, think of the other passengers or that one traveller who has left home with an  empty stomach because they do not want to vomit or that hungry child who watches longingly as you chew and swallow, and the mother is struggling to prevent the child from begging or snatching the aromatic food from you,” he said.

Kimani  disagreed  with Njoroge about the government banning eating in public vehicles because legislating peoples’ behaviour and mannerism was difficult and it has not worked anywhere in the world.

Clement Makori, a retired civil servant said eating had been reduced to a useless task which can be done anywhere, anytime and he also blamed mothers who feed children inside the church.

By  Veronica  Bosibori

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