Archive for the ‘Nairobi’ Category

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Green Bus for nairobi city

Matatu New Era

Exactly a month ago and we woke up to new matatu rules that will revolutionise this private held sector. Kenya similar to any african government we struggle with lasting implementation. Kudos to new regime with new rules but how far will we burn our oil. Forget the new matatu rules, the smart bus idea is brilliant of all!

Maybe we should call them green buses. We all know about smart bus but nothing about its retirement. Our guess o its missing on our roads would lean towards unsuccessful execution. old_smartbusWith Nairobi county government showing political divide into this noble idea. A bus that will see most commuters pay only Kshs 35 to and fro their estates. It will bring dream reality sanity in this man-eat-man society. It is not only affordable bus that we campaign for. The use of paperless travel idea; the smart cards and swipe on the go. Its sustainability will not be doomed so long as the management sets a is proper operations framework at an early stage.

An in depth study on similar ideas in developing cities such as Curitiba in Brazil, Delhi in India, Manila in Philippines and not to mention Lagos in Nigeria, reveals how these cities have robust infrastructure to fully sustain this idea. Commonly known as Bus Rapid  Transit is what is missing here in Nairobi as illustrated below.

BRT

Courtesy of BRT- Report. Source: ITDP & GIZ, 2012

You may argue of Thika Super highway but do we have bus right-of-way roads to reduce delays. This is a key factor to encourage most middle income earners onto the bus and leave their cars at home. Imagine, if 200 buses of sixty-seater capacity that could be nearly 4,000 private cars off Nairobi’s congested roads. Transport related pollution is concern too as heads of state deliberated on Climate Action in Abu Dhabi.

New Thika Superhighway

This will contribute to a green city under the sun. Our carbon emissions from transport sector will be capped at 2.8tons or below by 2025. Congestion, traffic delays that cost our economy and reduce human capital productivity hours at work will be history. We need to board the green bus and enjoy green economy of East Africa’s largest city.

GoGreenerHybridBus350Please tweet your views @CitiesSun

Climate Departure Hits Nairobi

Is Nairobi developing fast to its destruction? The Economist Intelligence Unit (EUI) study  revealed Nairobi will be one of the fastest growing cities in the world by 2016. The EUI study ranked Nairobi, 50th position in the battle of the world’s largest cities based on quality of human capital. Johannesburg was 53rd in this category while Tokyo and Beijing trailed in the 56th position. Recently, the green city in the sun was ranked by MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index as 4th most popular city in Africa. And now Nairobi positions itself third to Cape Town, South Africa and Accra, Ghana as best city in Africa to live in.

Listening to climate scientists you will shed tears about Nairobi. The conversation on “climate departure” as a way of measuring  climate change will really change things in global cities. Climate departure will happen when average temperatures of a city become so impacted by climate change that the old climate is overtaken by new climate. Nairobi in Africa is among many cities that are projected to hit it very soon, by 2036.

map3a

Courtesy of Leonard Bernstein and Gene Thorp/The Washington Post

The scientific journal Nature graphics’ indicates that dark red dots cities are to hit climate departure by tomorrow. Nairobi, a city of nearly 4.5 million people will experience the climate departure point by 2036. Thereafter, the city’s coldest year will still be hotter than any year from before 2005. Put another way, every single year after 2036 will be hotter than Nairobi’s hottest year on record from 1860 to 2005. It comes second to Lagos in Africa which has got only 16 years before it hits climate departure.

The half-full glass story is where cities mitigate climate change effect and prolong the global “climate departure” from 2047 to 2069. Twelve more years to experience old climate. Nairobi will then hit “climate departure” by 2058. Although it will still place Nairobi third behind Lagos and Pretoria.

map3b

Courtesy of Leonard Bernstein and Gene Thorp/The Washington Post

Superwaterway – Flooded Thika Road

thika9aI dread rains especially the sudden downpour when there was sweat sunshine hours ago. In this tropical country who would want wet weather throughout the year. Not only do humans in this country avoid rain but also their carriages are adversely affected. I recall one legendary singer who sang that Nairobians fear rain more than cars on the road.

He was correct. Think of rain and you start running for a shelter – may be stopping/cancelling all day’s business plans. Media house would have another story to cover that evening. With headlines of “Transport has been paralyzed in many parts of Nairobi following a sudden heavy downpour this afternoon”. Even the gorvernor would agree that many of the city’s roads are rendered impassable leading to heavy traffic just because of drop of water from the sky. This situation adversely impacts transport and commutters are always stranded in the town Centre.

My recent encounter was on the superhighway. Barely two years after completion of Thika. It is seems to be a no go zone with heavy downpour in our city. This Thika superhighway was heavily flooded and if you drove a vitz – lucky if you went through the sea on our superhighway.

Just few minutes of rain renders Thika Superhighway impassable. Motorist reduce their speeds to near zero, as the water fills the road. It is a superwaterway maybe and not a highway. I almost gave a tick to this completed road but drainage has left me the opposite. The authority has neglected the drains despite the Chinese doing a commendable work. More blame is direct towards us, some residents fill drains with garbage and all form of plastic. When it rains, water is therefore left with nowhere to go, but to fill the road. Lets stop this, think global while acting locally.

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