, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 28 – Wednesdays and Saturdays have been designated as car free days in Nairobi when vehicles will be barred from the Central Business District.
According to the Principal Secretary, Public Works Paul Maringa, hawkers will be allowed into the CBD to do business and generate income during the car-free days.
“We are trying to turn our urban environments into social spaces; we want ownership of urban environments by human beings and not vehicles. We also want to increase access to simple business people and that’s why we have come up with that concept of car free days where we are hoping to bring on board about 100,000 small scale traders,” said Maringa.
This, he said, will generate an estimated income of Sh3.8 billion annually.
Maringa said the piloting will take place on February 1 and some streets will be used as pilot areas.
“The pilot will cover a slightly smaller area that is along Moi Avenue, Harambee Avenue, the road that separates Re-insurance plaza and Law Courts and then City Hall Way. In that pilot area, we have designed and identified that it can accommodate about 5,000 traders,” he said.
The traders will be expected to trade in clean environments and the ministry has partnered with stakeholders which include insurance companies and bankers to provide easily assembled stores.
Maringa said so far they have partnered with 39 stakeholders and slightly over 5,000 stores are ready for the Friday’s piloting.
“Traders will come in the morning to assemble their stores and in the evening they can be dismantled, stored somewhere and the city is kept clean,” he said.
Organized car free days are held in various cities across the world. It was introduced in mid 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda for instance, and takes place on the first Sunday of every month.