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Nairobi county govt plans to decongest the city

20 November 2013, 11:39

Nairobi - Nairobi County plans to create more commercial districts to serve as business hubs in order to reduce human traffic in the the central business district and decongest the city.

County officials are drafting a master plan expected to be implemented in the first quarter of next year that will see creation of commercial zones in busy estates such as Ruai, Karen, Hurlingham and along Kiambu Road.

These estates, the officials reckoned, were strategically placed with rich interconnectivity of roads.
In addition, the County will create another commercial hub in Nairobi’s Eastlands area, known for its large numbers of slum dwellers in order to tame movement of residents in search of jobs in town.

“We are going to create multiple centers to reduce traffic to the CBD,” Tom Odongo, the Nairobi County executive committee member for lands, housing and physical planning said in an interview.

He said a policy to that effect was still at consultation level.

“We are currently drafting guidelines to indicate a mix of users of the proposed establishments,” said Odongo.

The official was speaking on the sidelines of the signing of a partnership deal between Housing Finance and Nairobi County in supporting students in Technical and Vocational Education and Training to reverse shortage of semi-skilled personnel in the economy.

Odongo said they were looking to establish office blocks, decent residential units and other amenities on the 2000 parcel of land in possession of the Nairobi County in Eastlands in line with Governor Evans Kidero’s manifesto, which was unveiled earlier.

“We shall adopt public-private partnership arrangement where investors will develop establishments on our land which will serve as equity,” he said.

“We want to make these areas self-reliant,” he added.

About 80,000 housing units, he said, would be set up targeting 650,000 residents of Eastlands.

Construction of decent accommodation facilities will come as big relief for poor households who have been forced to live in congested shanties.

The National Housing Corporation estimates that Kenya’s housing deficit stands at 150,000 units per year with the number set to grow as the pace of population growth continually outpaces that of construction of new accommodation facilities.

Unlike the other proposed business hubs, which will strictly be for commercial purposes including high-end residential units, a section of the one in Eastlands would be dedicated for social welfare to cater for needs of the poor.

A commercial district comes along with employment opportunities with creation of shopping malls, fuel service stations and modern residential units.

The concept of commercial districts has gained currency in the country’s urban centers with prime estates such as Upper Hill and Westlands leading the pack.

- CAJ News


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