Nairobi’s troubles date back to 1900

Nbi1900sPublished by John Kamau in The Business Daily

The City of Nairobi has had quacks, clowns, and thieves at the top — men and women who were simply short-sighted. With the election of Governor Evans Kidero, let us hope that finally we will have administrative peace.

The leadership question in this city is not a recent problem. It goes back to 1900 when Nairobi was set up as “tinville”, and in the wrong place!

When Nairobi was hardly eight years, the administrators were warned that they had done a mistake by allowing the building of a town in a treeless windy plain where residents were constantly baked by the African sun. Continue reading

Reflections on Nairobi’s Race for Governor


The Independent, Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Issack Hassan has recently announced that all returning elections officers are required to report results directly to the national tallying centre at the Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi (read more here).

The IEBC says that its delays are due to technical failure, but regardless, they leave voters eagerly awaiting results for the Presidential, Gubernatorial, Senatorial, Member of Parliament, and County Assembly races.  During this time, Nairobi resident Daisy Maritim reflects on the Nairobi Governor race:

Kenya: Reflections on the Nairobi Governor Race

…”It gets me thinking; do the candidates we have make the grade? Continue reading

Silicon Savannah presses ahead

Published on 13 February 2013 by Linet Kwamboka

konza city pavilion

Early in the New Year, the proposed ‘Silicon Savannah’ progressed from an ICT Park to a 10 billion USD technology city. This progress was marked by the formation of the Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KOTDA) and design plans for the cities landmark building – the Konza City Technology Pavilion.

Located in Machakos and Makueni counties, the development will sit on over 5,000 acres of land and according to a recent report; it will be constructed over a period of twenty years using a public-private financing model (

In my opinion, Konza City is the perfect idea; one that I wish had been started about a decade ago. Continue reading

Reclaiming Kenyan Cities for People

Published by Alex O. Awiti in Advancing Global Sustainability

William Henry Ogilvie, the Scottish-Australian poet, wrote “These are the men with sun-tanned faces and keen far-sighted eyes, the men of the open spaces”. Open outdoor spaces are innately liberating, bequeathing to us the privilege of reflection and introspection.

By most accounts we will end this century as homo urbanus – wholly urban creatures. This demographic transition will see millions give up the vast airy purity of open spaces of the countryside for cloistered, stifling existence in the city – the concrete jungle of hard tarred roads, stone, glass, steel, parking lots, automobiles traffic congestion and polluted air.  Continue reading

Some Serious Lessons from Thika Highway

Published on 21 December by Jacqueline Klopp

thika highway event banner_v4-01

Last month, amongst much fanfare, the Thika Highway Improvement Project came to an official close, although for another year the contractors will be liable for any needed changes. Thus it is timely to reflect on how people will come to terms with this new infrastructure that can allow for extremely high speeds in densely populated areas along the Nairobi-Thika Corridor. It might also be time to look more systematically at what this project can teach us for other ongoing or new highway projects such as the proposed World Bank-funded elevated Uhuru highway and the African Development Bank funded transformation of Outer Ring Road. It is time to ask ourselves, what are the broader implications of highway building for the Nairobi Metropolitan Region as a whole? Continue reading

Municipalities struggle to provide services in towns along the Thika Superhighway

Thika Highway image






Published on 22 November 2012 in Business Daily by Immaculate Wairimu

The growth of Nairobi towards Thika is unstoppable,” Housing minister Soita Shitanda said on August 25 during the ground-breaking ceremony of a new housing project in Juja.

Mr Shitanda said the Ministry of Housing would like to see a situation where this growth goes hand in hand with related infrastructure development and appealed to the Thika Municipal Council to be proactive in assisting developers to get connected to the sewer lines and the water system.

But to many observers, Nairobi’s “unstoppable growth” towards Thika is becoming a source of concern. Continue reading

The complex system of the low-income housing sector: understanding the blurry boundaries of slums in Nairobi

By Delfina Lopez Freijido

Slums present challenges to the rapidly urbanizing world. They involve multiple dimensions where problematic situations occur, especially in terms of no satisfaction and even violation of dwellers rights. Past responses to change this reality often failed because they didn’t get to target the causes of the visual reality. This has been so, because of the partial vision of slums that misses the dynamism of a system where slums are an integral component. Continue reading