A random walk through the poor estates of Nairobi reveals nothing more than rot, decay and mountains of garbage that appears to have gone unattended for years. An insinuation or thought of what it is like to live in these estates day-in and day-out is incomprehensible. The filth and decay you witness makes you question the competence of Nairobi City County administrators, et al and why they have not been held accountable for moral hazards and inhumanity that residents are exposed to; it’s an emergency.
To effectively address this emergency, the “don’t care attitude,” and the misplaced priorities of the Nairobi City County administration once and for all, the Nairobians must look to a viable alternative in 2017 by voting out the current administration. The City County administration has demonstrated and proven that it is not capable of cleaning our beautiful City; it does not care for the Nairobi commoner.
Hands-on Manager Needed in Nairobi
Nairobi needs a manager who can roll up the sleeves and tackle the problems inflicting the city on a day-to-day basis. Nairobians must look beyond partisan politics and seek an individual who can positively influence their quality of life. Nairobi needs a hands-on, people-person leader who will not turn a blind eye to the rot, decay, congestion, potholes, etc. in the estates; but one who can instill will-power to comprehensively attack these deficiencies head-on. The current administration seems only interested in financial mismanagement and graft. We need city management that is ethical and one that can uphold integrity, promote transparency, and commit to disclose how and where fees and rates from residents are spent.
Nairobi – The Primary Gateway to Sub-Sahara Africa
The investment world has anointed Nairobi as a primary gateway to Africa. Many international organizations wishing to trade with sub-Sahara Africa are setting up their offices in Nairobi. As such, the image Nairobi presents to the outside world must align with the expectations of the international community. Evidently, Kidero Administration has failed to deliver on those expectations.
By walking around the estates, one can only draw the conclusion that the City County administration has taken Nairobi residents for granted. The City administration priorities are focused on the Central Business District (CBD) but a competent manager should recognize that functional/operational leadership is not shaped by the number of high rise buildings mushrooming around Nairobi; taking care of the small basics of life is what will transform Nairobi City into a modern metropolis.
The environmental issues hamstringing Nairobi estates endanger the daily well-being of residents and as well as visitors who traverse the city.
Nairobi City County: Better City; Better Life.
As one contemplates the state of the estates in Nairobi, you fail to grasp how to interpret the motto of “Better City; Better Life” posted on the Nairobi City County Web Portal. You begin to question the level of commitment, effort, or progress, if any, being made towards realizing this theme. Residents deserve a better quality of life in the city; and if those responsible for delivering on this critical need are busy misappropriating the resources needed to achieve the theme, you wonder who they work for.
As you walk around the more affluent areas of Nairobi, you begin to suspect the theme fits the minority few who live in the posh areas; Karen, Runda, Kileleshwa, Lavington, Ridgeways, Loresho to name a few. But even for these minorities, the amenities most of them enjoy come at a cost as they are required to contribute monthly to their community associations to fund the services. Then one asks: What is the County City administration doing? Why has responsibility of providing basic services been neglected?
Stroll Down River Road toward Kariokor
If you stroll down River road towards Kariokor, you are greeted by traffic madness, plumes of sickening smoky emissions from the congestion de-mobilized vehicles, toxic smell emanating from the once clean Nairobi river, piles and piles of garbage towering side streets, and trash clogged drainage systems that will fail with the slightest rain runoff. This image transitions eastwards through Parklands, Ngara, Gikomba, Huruma and all other estates.
The further out eastwards you go from the CBD, the thicker and higher the piles of trash image exaggerate.
On a relative basis, the city of Nairobi was much cleaner before devolution at which time its management was under the National government. Comparatively, people’s quality of life is worse-off for most Nairobians today. Transforming the entire city to global standards is quite easy but it will require commitment. Two ways to achieve this will be to engage an effective, hands-on management team capable of restructuring the administrative and operating activities or surrendering the city of Nairobi administration back to the National government. Removing the decay and rot sprawling and contravening the estates is fundamental to restoring hope to residents and visitors as well.
By Paddy Mwembu, Los Angeles, California, USA.