When Philip Kisia was appointed Nairobi’s Town Clerk (which is effectively Nairobi’s CEO) many people were full of praise.
Kisia had distinguished himself as the chair of Nairobi Central Business District Association (NCBDA) and also as the CEO of Kenyatta International Conference Centre. It was hoped that his previous success would spill over to his tenure as Town Clerk. Incidentally he inherited a very well maintained city from his predecessor, John Gakuo.
It is with sadness then that I note that the city is slowly but surely falling apart. The street urchins are back, the hawkers are back, garbage is piling up, streets are not being swept, the decree of painting buildings annually is not being adhered to and City council askaris are back to harassing and extorting money from Nairobians.
My feeling of dissatisfaction with Philip Kisia’s running of Nairobi has being stewing for awhile and I recall having tweeted about it often. What has inspired this post however are the sights that meet me every time I enter the city from the Eastland’s side.
Starting from the City Stadium roundabout, Landies Road has being in a state of disrepair and repair for a period of at least three years. At any given time the road is being re-carpeted (in a very shoddy way) or the drainage system is being fixed (shoddily). Currently it is the drainage system that is being fixed and even to my layman eye, it is not being right! Who is benefiting from the constant repair work?
Driving down Landies Road, you get to the Muthurwa Hawkers market which cost Ksh 700 million to construct in 2007. It is now in shambles. Did you read the seven hundred million shilling price tag? Burst sewers, cracked walls, lack of water and a general air of chaos. Is City Hall in-charge and if so why doesn’t it bother to fix the mess?
Opposite Muthurwa Hawkers market is the Retail Market which has being a fixture in this side of the city for decades. Behind the Retail Market, some clever person is constructing four blocks of shops. My issue is not even the potentially grabbed land but the standard of buildings being constructed. I always imagined that when constructing a building in the city centre you had to adhere to certain building standards. In my opinion, these blocks of shops which would fit nicely in a village shopping centre have no place in the city. Who approved their construction?
Driving down, you get to The Salvation Army Church. The church has decided to go commercial and construct rental buildings both in the front and back compounds of the church. It is very well for them to take advantage of their location and make an extra buck BUT it is not right for them to construct unsafe buildings!
The two-storey buildings have not yet being completed but the walls have already collapsed and the ceiling plaster has carved in. In spite of all these, construction is still ongoing and the roof is being built. I kid you not! To add more incredulousness to the story, the Church is on the same line as the licensing department of Nairobi City Council!
It is certainly a case of the truth being stranger than fiction.
These and many other eye sores are what welcome one to Nairobi from the Eastland’s side.
Is the City Council waiting for an outbreak of cholera at Muthurwa Hawkers market, the collapse of the aforementioned buildings or the construction of slum like structures in the middle of the Central Business District (CBD) to do something?
Philip Kisia, you are doing a shoddy job! The residents of Nairobi deserve better service! You need to either wake up and work or quit.
GOD BLESS KENYA!