, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 10 – The walk of shame, it is.
Right within Nairobi’s Central Business District, two street boys won’t take it anymore and have decided to reduce the suffering of the city residents using Moi Lane, to access Moi Avenue.
It is suffering caused by years of neglect of a busy lane named after Kenya’s second President Daniel Arap Moi.
Moi lane is not only an eyesore for the Public Service Vehicles users, drivers and their conductors but it is an embarrassment for the largest City within East Africa, the ‘Green City in the Sun.’
“Piteni pole pole, ukitaka, unaweza niachia kakitu kwa sababu najitolea ili usirudi nyuma (Just cross slowly, you may drop something (give them some cash) since I am just volunteering and so that you don’t turn back (and use a longer route)” Joseph Gicharu, one of the street boys can be heard saying.
His colleague is piling a heap of mud, sieving through raw sewage, while Gicharu places torn cartons, to make a slim ‘carpeted’ walkway for hundreds of people using Pumzi lane to get to the 2 kilometers long Moi lane and eventually Moi Avenue.
You stop ‘breathing’ at Pumzi lane, hold it, till you get Moi Avenue, it is horrible.
“I usually come here since when it rains, the lane become impassable. The drainage has been clogged for long that is why it has spilled all over,” Gicharu says.
He is willing to be employed by the Nairobi County Government, to ensure his city is clean.
“We rely on the public goodwill, some will give us ten shillings, twenty and so on,” he says, luckily a lady who is grateful of the work the two street boys are doing extends her hand and gives Gicharu fifty shillings.
Adjacent the lane, are got fast food restaurants.
Obadiah Muthui owns one of the fast food restaurants and says despite complaining for long – since the days of former Governor of Nairobi Evans Kidero and up to date – under the leadership of Mike Sonko, the authorities have turned a blind eye to their grievances.
“This is pathetic,” a visibly angry Muthui says.
“We are invested heavily in Nairobi, we pay a lot of tax to the Government, but no one is taking care for us; it is God that there has no cholera outbreak here.”
According to him, the lane has been in a deteriorating state for more than two years.
There is no more tarmac, it is heaps of garbage, raw sewage and a foul smell less than a five minute walk from City Hall.
Gicharu’s colleague, a street boy, urges Governor Sonko to keep his word, “and employ members of the street family to clean the City.”
Scrunching up his nose, Nairobi City resident Vincent Kamaya says, “this is not Nairobi anymore. Why can’t they fix the drainage system and construct a new road?”
Such are the sentiments of many other residents staying near the poorly maintained road in the City.