Tag Archives: City Council of Nairobi

Where Art Thou Bus? Point Blank with Asian Weekly 30th June 2017

BRT Courtesy Newsbytes

BRT Courtesy Newsbytes

The world has several transport systems. The earliest known mode of transport to man were the use of horses, carriages and then the motorcar, until the railway line changed the dynamics. When the Wright Brothers were making the airplane, it was thought that is the craziest thing possible. Now we are hopping from continent to continent.

Every country is unique and while a metro is successful for London it may not be for Namibia. The best public transport systems in the world have been known to be in yes London, New York, Paris, Beijing, Tokyo, Berlin, Moscow, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Dubai and Zurich. But while their success mostly comes from the subways and railway lines, there is the successful Bus Rapid Transit System (BRT) that has made life easier for many cities too. The Bus Rapid Transit System was first used in Curitiba, Brazil in 1974 where it requires the following corridor in order to operate successfully:

  • Be at least 3km length with dedicated lanes
  • Score 4 or more points in dedicated right-of-way element
  • Score 4 or more points in bus way alignment element
  • Score 20 or more points across all five BRT Basics element: these are Dedicated right-of-way, Bus way alignment, Off-board fare collection, Intersection treatments, Platform-level boarding

According to recent research BRT can reduce travel time by millions of hours so instead of us wasting our time at the mercy of the Kenyan Traffic Police, they too will get a relief. In Johannesburg users are saving 13 minutes each way during their daily commutes, so imagine what we could do with that kind of time. It is also an excellent way to keep commuters active, for example according to the World Health Organization adults aged 18-64 should walk at least 150 minutes per week, with this BRT they will have to because of parking the private vehicles at terminals and then heading to the bus station.

Recently the current Nairobi Governor, Evans Kidero announced that the BRT System would be built along Mombasa Road, Thika Super Highway, Ngong Road, Jogoo Road and Waiyaki Way. According to the research by the City Council of Nairobi, “about 8000 vehicles are registered by Kenya Revenue Authority each month and 7000 end up in Nairobi. At independence, Kenya had 3000 cars and about 800km of paved roads. In 1974, the country had about 3000 vehicles and 2000km of tarmacked roads compared to today’s 8000km.”

Kenya is on the path for further development, especially so with the phase 1 of the Standard Gauge Railway, which has been completed and successfully launched on 31st May. This mega project is a bigger picture of connecting East African passengers and cargo. The single-track line between Mombasa and Nairobi has been dubbed Madaraka Express and will pass through 40 stations. Kenya is definitely a growing economy and transportation of goods via the road network cannot be the only option to be relied upon. Thus, the SGR will make the bigger difference. The matatus and coach buses probably fear losing business in the entirety with all this development. But then again they have been a menace to the roads, with their reckless driving and rash behavior, maybe their time is over. There is no need for useless road rage that is converting regular drivers of saloon cars to join this rough gang of unruly drivers. We can be civil drivers, passengers and commuters. Also anyway most countries have multiple modes of transportation for various requirements, ultimately price and service will have to be king. The only discouraging thing is that usually Kenyans are so complacent with poor service that they really will not create that tipping point needed for a transformation in public transport. Yes it will have different options, but they will either deteriorate because of poor maintenance and corruption every step of the way, or really Kenyans will stand up and demand what is their right, their right to a better life, after all their taxes are running the nation.

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Posted by on August 11, 2017 in Uncategorized


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An Unnecessary Barking Debate, Point Blank with Asian Weekly 23rd October 2015

An Unnecessary Barking Debate

Dogs Courtesy Puplife

Dogs Courtesy Puplife

A dog is a man’s best friend and you can never ever go wrong. They take care of you, protect you, loyal to you and always love you unconditionally. Yes they must be taken care of too and not used, abused, chewed, beaten or disposed. But the upcoming bill for debate in the Parliament is a waste of time.

The Nairobi City County Dog Control & Welfare Bill is 21 pages long but what does it really say?

Here’s what I picked:

Part I- Preliminary

  1. The object and purpose of this Act is to provide for the control & welfare of dogs within the precincts of Nairobi City County pursuant of Part II of the Fourth Schedule to the Constitution by-

(a) providing for a licensing regime for dogs

(b) providing standards of conduct in the habitation and handling of dogs by its owners;

(c) prohibiting the unhygienic disposal of dog carcasses in public places, drains and sewers, for restoring and maintaining clean environment; and

(d) such other measures as outlined in this Act


Why is this a waste of time for debate in Parliament? Well, this should have Standard Procedure long, long time ago. Now that it is up for debate, let’s go over it.

From the Preliminary points above, there is some direction to where it is going. Dogs are precious animals and need to be defended from dog eaters and beaters. You should never see them being sold on the roads in Westlands ever. This will give them proper kennels and not mattresses to sleep on, better food and not leftovers.

According to Part III- Dog Welfare under- other prohibitions:

13 (1) A person shall not-

(e) keep any dog, which barks, yelps, howls or whines for more than six accumulated minutes in an hour or more than three accumulated minutes in an half hour;

I am hoping the above has been inserted upon consultation with a dog expert and that if the dog is barking incessantly it really means his health is in danger. On the other hand what about if you keep security dogs? Or dogs to save you from the rising crime and intruders? There definitely needs change in the above clause. But Kenyans style is to make fun, share on WhatsApp and forget the matter; only until you have to pay the fine do you wake up.

By the way the General Penalty as stated is:

  1. (1) A person who contravenes the provisions of this Act for which no penalty is specified or fails to comply with any order or direction given under this Act, shall be punishable with fine not exceeding five thousand shillings.

Dog owners and animal lovers and especially general public organize yourselves, understand this bill and debate the changes you would like grown ups. Otherwise there is not much difference between them and us.

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Posted by on October 26, 2015 in Uncategorized


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