Archive for the ‘Air Quality’ Category


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.


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

Just Call it Dar!

DaresSalaam Tanzania Samora Avenue around Daily News office

Dar es Salaam, locally known as Dar, is the largest city in Tanzania. It is the largest port city in East Africa. Most people think it is the capital city of Tanzania. However, in 1973, provisions were made for Dar to relinquish its capital status to central inland city –Dodoma.

Monument of Askari

Monument of Askari

Dar, a city established nearly one and half century years, in 1865, by a Sultan. Now it is home to a population of 3 million, a number projected to double by 2020. The overview of Dar is magnificent and northern beach hotels are great surrounded by an ambience of a natural harbour on the Indian Ocean.

Visiting Dar for the first time you must take some Kiswahili lessons. If you think we are wrong, note, this is home to Kiswahili dictionary. Imagine of students taking chemistry lessons in Kiswahili. Jokes on the roll is Kiswahili was born in Dar, raised in Zanzibar –island, matured in Kenya, fell sick in Uganda and die in Rwanda. Definitely buried in DRC.

My encounter of Dar was when my friend defied basic advise on this coastal city. We had been warned on when you order for food in Dar, you must say naomba translate to please. My good friend decided to be Kenyan, show ignorant rudeness and ordered a waiter to bring him roasted banana and beef stew. My humulity to say naomba saved me from one hour wait when my friend was not served. Till the waiter came back furious and said my colleague was rude to her.

A view of the green Dar.

This is just Dar, haven of peace,  polite and friendly Tanzanians light your face. It is among the top-ten fastest growing cities in the world, and three cities in Africa. According to African Green City Index, Dar ranks well below average together with Nairobi city. Although, it has no matatu madness of neighboring cities. All residents say, if you are in a hurry, you should have come yesterday in Dar.

Aerial view of the port city.

Aerial view of the port city.

Thika Road – Metropolitan Class

Thika Road – Metropolitan Class

Thika Rd

Thika Road new super highway

Six years ago traffic on Thika road seemed a nightmare and residents of adjacent estates recall long hours in traffic. The elimination of roundabouts and other bottlenecks such as single lane tracks has significantly eased traffic flow and reduced the cost of running a public service vehicle on the highway.

The flyovers, interchanges, underpasses [box culverts] and overpasses provided are meant to ease congestion and provide an access controlled motorway with accompanying service roads, slip roads, bus laybays and well demarcated lanes.

According to various reports, Nairobi is estimated to lose Sh20 billion a year on traffic jams, more than City Hall spends annually to provide services such as water, sewerage and garbage collection to residents. With Thika road then accounting high number of billions per annum.

The ten-lane Thika Road has cast off the spell of notoriously wasting man-hours. Time that could be useful otherwise being burnt up in traffic jams is a major loss for any economy.

Thika Rd

Thika Road – Super Highway

The approximately 97 per cent completed Nairobi-Thika Super highway stands out as the latest infrastructure facility with extra emphasis on safety for motorists and pedestrians. The bridges are also covered incase of bad weather conditions. The landings of the ramps and stairs for the bridges lead pedestrians to the foot path/cycles, which have been developed, on both sides of the road all the way from Nairobi to Birmingham of Kenya – the industrial Thika town.

As the project draws to completion, it is interesting the way it continues to attract admiration. The superhighway remains such a phenomenon to behold that it has attracted delegations from several countries including Tanzania, Zanzibar, Uganda, Benin, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and Niger among others. I imagine school children will soon tour Nairobi and on their list will be a ride on the only superhighway in East Africa.

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