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Daily Nation : February 10th 2014
18 | THE COUNTIES NAIROBI | City planners craft ambitious projects to end problems New plan seeks to change the face of city and replace cars with buses Nairobi of the future will be served by rapid transport buses; will have more space, less cars and no traffic jams BY FLAVIE HALAIS email@example.com tic changes that would change the city centre as you know it. The Nairobi integrated urban de- N velopment master plan will seek to decongest the central business district by expanding its surface three times current size, notably beyond the railway station, where a “Railway City” will be created. Car trips to and from the CBD will be discouraged. “We’re not envisaging to increase parking in town,” said Stephen Mogere, an engineer at the Japanese International Co-operation Agency (Jica), which is providing funding and technical support to the city county for the plan. “We’re actually planning to decrease it.” It would be expensive to drive to the city centre, according to the engineer. In addition, business would be decentralised through creation of nine secondary business districts. Although their location has not been disclosed yet, Karen and Upper Hill are expected to be among them. On transport around the city, the plan will incorporate and build on projects initiated by the 2006 master plan for urban transportation, also prepared with support from Jica. The 2006 plan had initiated con- struction of the eastern, northern and southern bypasses, as well as the western ring roads. Ngong road would be enlarged to SUMMARY How transport will improve Expansion: The plan seeks to expand the city three times and create secondary business districts. Transport: Car trips will be discouraged as the city will be served by a bus rapid transit system comprising nine corridors. Railway: The town would have a “Railway City” while, in the longterm, a rail and sub-way system would be established. allow for more traffic. The new plan’s biggest innovation is its strong emphasis on public transportation to relieve the city’s roads of congestion. FILE | NATION Vehicles arrive in the Nairobi city centre through Kenyatta Avenue. A new master plan promises drastic changes that will change the city as you know it. The plan calls for refurbishment of the commuter rail system, to be completed by establishment of nine corridors for rapid transit, most likely to be equipped with bus transit lines. Light rail or subway lines could be created in a more distant future. The Transport ministry has already announced plans for three bus rapid transport (BRT) corridors that would link Athi River to Kikuyu town; Thika to the CBD; and the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to the CBD, in a partnership with UN-Habitat. However, the new plan considers a BRT corridor on Outer Ring road and Jogoo road as a priority, bringing into question how various stake holders involved in transportation projects will align their priorities. Jica planners and engineers warn that matatu lines running on the BRT corridors would have to be suppressed. “If you go the BRT way, you must be ready to face resistance,” said Mr Mogere. However, he notes that it would be possible for matatu owners to benefit from the switch. He cites the example of Johan- nesburg, where matatu owners were compensated for loss of income and were able to buy shares into the new Rea Vaya BRT network. TO COMMENT ON THESE AND OTHER STORIES GO TO www.nation.co.ke New city design fails to address slum upgrade BY FLAVIE HALAIS Nairobi’s upcoming urban You’re telling (residents) they are not dignified enough to be included in a master plan” Waikwa Wanyoike development masterplan may not properly address issues of land tenure and infrastructure in slums, causing a void that could have consequences for the city’s development, as information obtained by the Nation reveals. The Japanese International Cooperation Agency (Jica), which is providing financial and technical support for the plan, has been instructed by county officials to leave detailed planning for infrastructure in informal settlements to government institutions dealing with slum upgrading, such as the Kenya Informal Settlements Improvement Project (Kisip) and Nairobi Metropolitan Services Improvement Project (Namsip). Civil society organizations say this is a missed opportunity to address profound social inequalities, as Nairobi has been without a master plan for decades – the 1973 plan was never implemented – leading to chaotic development and slum growth. The new plan will give a framework to Nairobi’s development until 2030. It’s taking away people’s dignity, said Waikwa Wanyoike, Executive Director of Katiba Institute. “You’re telling [residents] they’re not dignified enough to be considered for a master plan,” he said. Violates principles Mr Wanyoike said the de- cision violates a number of constitutional principles, such as the obligation to vulnerable communities. “Clearly, there’s a case of discrimination,” he said. Many observers believe that projects run by Kisip and Namsip will not be sufficient to bring adequate infrastructure to the slums and solve sanitation problems. A 2012 report by the World Bank showed that Kenya loses Sh27 billion annually, or 0.9 per cent of its GDP due to poor sanitation. “Nairobi is on the brink of an epidemic,” said Ms Irene Karanja, the executive director of Muungano wa Wanavijiji, an organization that supports the rights of slum dwellers. airobi’s new master plan, to be released at an undisclosed date this year, promises dras- DAILY NATION Monday February 10, 2014 GOVERNORS FAULTED OVER FOREIGN TRIPS Counties told to liaise with ministry to avoid diplomatic embarrassment P.20 BRIEFLY BUSIA Bill to revive cotton ginneries becomes law Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaa- mong (above) has signed into law four landmark Bills, one of which seeks to revive stalled cotton ginneries. Sh50 million has already been set aside to revive Muluanda, Nambale, Malakisi and Amukura ginneries, which collapsed in the early 90s following the introduction of second hand clothes. The proposed laws passed last week by the Assembly also include the controversial Busia Finance Amendment Bill. BUNGOMA Two rescue centres for girls set to be built Bungoma County has em- barked on a project to set up two rescue centres for girls. The institutions will be established in Tongaren and Mt Elgon constituencies where the dropout rate for girls as a result of early pregnancies is high. Speaking when she laid the foundation stone at Mbakalo in Tongaren, Women’s Representative Reginalda Wanyonyi said the centre would accommodate 600 girls. MOMBASA Free cancer screening attracts hundreds Hundreds of women in Mom- basa at the weekend thronged a medical camp for free cervical and breast cancer screening. More than 800 women had registered for the screening dubbed “Women wellbeing camp” by noon. Dr Risa ole Kurrarru of Port Reiz District Hospital said she was impressed by the turnout. The aim of the camp, she added, was to address issues that affect women. NAKURU Team formed to help improve education A 21-member task force has been formed to propose ways of expanding education opportunities and improving academic performance in Nakuru County. Governor Kinuthia Mbugua, who chairs the task force, said the team would present its findings in 45 days. The report would provide the region with solutions to congestion in schools to enable teachers handle manageable number of students, he said.
February 9th 2014
February 11th 2014