, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 30 – The Ministry of Transport has suspended the car-free days plan that was to be piloted from February 1 in Nairobi until further notice.
Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said the suspension was made following security concerns and will enable them to vet hawkers and traders to be sure who will be occupying the spaces provided.
“The capture of biometric data of the traders using BVR kits has not been completed as anticipated. This is an essential security measure that has to be finalised. Consequently, the trial run has been deferred until further notice,” said Macharia.
The decision was reached after a meeting between the ministry, Senator Johnson Sakaja, Nairobi County officials and hawkers’ representatives.
Sakaja said the postponement was to allow for more consultations.
“Held consultations with the Ministry of Transport, The Nairobi Traffic Commander, and Nairobi County Govt and hawkers representatives on the proposed ‘car-free’ days. I have advised them to put off the exercise to allow for better planning and proper public participation,” Sakaja tweeted.
Transport Principal Secretary Paul Maringa had on Monday said the car-free days planned for Wednesday and Saturday would allow hawkers to sell their wares in the CBD.
Maringa said this was part of the measures to turn urban environments into social spaces and also increase their access to simple business people.
He said with the car- free days concept, they are aiming to bring on board about 100,000 traders.
This, he said, will generate an estimated income of Sh3.8 billion annually.
During the car-free days, all vehicles would have been barred from the Central Business District.