Kenyans are very eloquent people. And often when leaders read speeches in foreign gatherings or public forums, they sound really good.
For those of us on the ground, we know that however good it sounds, it is often a lot of hot air, coupled with a lot of other bad things.
Ok, so it’s Monday and matatus have officially been locked out of the city centre. This, according to the City Mayor Geoffrey Majiwa will help ease congestion in the CBD.
But will it really? What else? How will wananchi be affected? I think this City Hall bid is totally unfair and not properly thought out.
According to an outline given by City Hall, matatus coming in from the Nairobi-Nakuru highway will terminate their journey at Westlands, while those coming in from Eastleigh will not be allowed past Kariokor. Those from the Gigiri area will stop at City Park.
So anyone coming from those areas will have to alight, perhaps with sacks of cabbage and potatoes in tow, and look for a 40+seater bus to get them into the city centre.
Since these huge vehicles are currently not enough, there is no doubt those already badly driven ones will be plonked on Kenyatta Avenue, Moi Avenue, and all the other streets… what a horror!
Our leaders really need to get their act together. The lack of planning and disregard for the welfare of Nairobi dwellers is very obvious here; matatu operators say the notice was very short and there was no structure to enable them stop at Kariokor etc.
Kenyans have to walk long distances and fight for space in the few 40+seaters that will bring them into town; the mammoth buses that rarely obey traffic rules and are horribly driven will still cause needless traffic in the CBD, and the list goes on…
The poorer you are in Kenya, the more you will suffer. People who have been walking from Muthurwa will now get colleagues on foot-subishi from Kariokor, because the infrastructure cannot support the council’s sterling plan. That is, if the plan is actually in force.
The government needs to know that the lives of Kenyans, and any inconveniences to them must be a KEY consideration in whichever plans they make.
So City Hall should just take back its plan until it has ensured that there is a safe, efficient, and fluid mode of transportation for those affected. Period!
Water, power and now transport? This is too much…