Wednesday, August 8, 2007


There is a lot of activity in the capital city of Kenya Nairobi to return it to its lost glory. Rails have been put around flower gardens, the city looks much cleaner, no smoking anywhere but only at designated places. Litter bins all over and very soon there will be no paper bag litter when ban on plastic paper bags takes effect and cleaner public toilets.

But one major facelift that makes me happy in Machakos bus park (famously nicknamed Machakos Airport). From the signboard I read its being done by Kamukuji CDF fund (some of those good things CDF fund can do). The work has been on for I think more than two months. From the look of things the bus stop will be beautiful. It used to look so pathetic and made worse by agents disturbing travelers going to board the busses and street boys who I don’t see anymore.

Opposite the road there is another construction going on where railway staff houses where, famously known as Muthurwa on Landies road. This was initiated when the President visited the area and said a market will be built there. Part of the railways old staff houses that have been there for years where demolished to pave way for the market.

This market will ease congestion from Wakulima market. This old market was very famous for many households. There never used to be many vegetable vendors like today. In fact most of them used to sell from house to house. So my mum would go to Wakulima market, (then known as marikiti) and buy vegetables that could last a week. I used to fear going to this market because it was congested and people carrying sacks would knock you down or insult you when you stood on their way. One time I fell on a pile of ripe mangoes thrown in a pile.

Back to my topic, this is also part of Nairobi face lift, the stalls have a stone foundation built of iron rods and iron sheet roofs . The market looks big and I hope it will accommodate many vegetable vendors. I also hope the old Wakulima market will also be renovation after this. May be the government should also think of other markets like Burma famous for roasted meat (nyama choma) and Gikomba market famous for mitumba (second hand clothes).

The only problem with these constructions going on, especially the one for Machakos bus station is that all the busses that used to pick passengers going upcountry are packed on the side of the road and middle spaces on the road. This is causing heavy traffic jam on Landies road, making matatus plying Jogoo road turn midway or at City Stadium. Most passengers waiting for this matatus have to walk to stadium if they want to get home early and because the busses are packed on pedestrian walk, people share the road with vehicles making it very difficult for motorists.

I hope the work on this bus station comes to an end soon so that the busses can return and pedestrians can walk comfortable on their side and ease traffic on this road.


luke said...

I applaud the efforts being made to restore the city of Nairobi to its lost glory and make it once again the green city in the sun, however i hope the city fathers will go beyond just purely cosmetic changes and deal with some of what i consider to be the nagging problems this city faces, number one on my list being vumbi

There surely must be a way to control the dust and stop the dirt that easily spreads through the air why not tarmac all the foot-paths and side-walks that are just dirt tracks some of which people have converted into walkways? To me the dusty brown look really ruins the green city effect that the city beautification programme is trying to achieve

Well, we have started something anyway and may it not stop until the whole entire city is gleaming and wows even us locals and not just visiting tourists

Anonymous said...

One thing that I would like seen removed in Nairobi city is the trafic jam.This makes me sick and get late to work every day.

Condition of roads Uhpssssss...........Agwamba come and help. This is why Kibaki and his boys and girls have to go.

Kamau yei Sudan

Sue said...

I agree with your views, its very true that dust is a major problem in Nairobi especially in the city. A friend once told me that she used to have frequent homa (colds) when in Kenya because of the dust, but since she moved to the USA the cold disappeared. This is why people were stopped from spiting in streets because this could cause TB.

There was a time sidewalks were being tarmacked but it stalled before all were done. Its good that trees are being planted all over Nairobi, this will make it greener.

Traffic jam is a major problem that has to be sorted out urgently.

Ssembonge said...

Gakuo has done a good job beautifying Nairobi. As for the dust, I guess it's a Kenyan thing. No wonder allegic rhinitis and asthma are prevalant in Kenya.

For me, the moment I step out of the plane I can tell I'm in Kenya from breathing dust. Dust is to Kenya what humidity is to USA.