Posts tagged ‘Cities’

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.


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.


Courtesy of Leonard Bernstein and Gene Thorp/The Washington Post


Robben Island: Little Home to a Great Man


This words inspire me at this Robben Island, “We want Robben Island to reflect the triumph of freedom and human dignity over oppression and humiliation.” You will feel a cold wave of truth ripple through you as you read this words… and us you ponder it, why Robben Island is just little but home to a Great Man – Mandela.

Nelson Mandela has made this island rise to the face of the world. An island of isolation and imprisonment for prisoners like him to rise up and be a Laureate. I would say, “He feel into the dungeons of this island for 20 years only to rise up with greatest that has shown perseverance, contentment and true spirit of leadership“. I write as I am drawn to what this Island made the most celebrated African leader to be – while working in the quarries for 20 years. Not only did he contract lung infections but it has put him down – and now we miss you Mandela.

1476187_714104455281548_1314490395_nMadiba, stepping out of prison made me understand why apartheid had been knocked down on it face. He was the right man at the difficult hour to ascent to power in super power of Africa – South Africa. The words inscribed on this island are true of Nelson Mandela. I wish that life should have reward him more years like the island itself but I join the world at large to ponder that Madiba had seen a lot and worth he rested. May be more that I can’t narrate better than the walls of his prison room as prisoner number 46664 at Robben Island.

Robben Island – 20 of 27 years

Robben Island  is 6.9 km west of the coast of BloubergstrandCape Town, South Africa. It is oval in shape, 3.3 km long north-south, and 1.9 km wide, with an approximately area of 5.07 km².  Nobel Laureate and former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela was imprisoned on Robben Island for 20 of the 27 years he served behind bars before the fall of apartheid

Robben Island Museum

This island was not only been used as a prison (1961 -1996). History has it as a training and defence station for World War II (1939-1945) and a hospital for people with leprosy, and the mentally and chronically ill (1846-1931). It was a hospital because it was regarded as both secure – isolated from mainland and a place to find healing – healthy.

The last political prisons left this island in 1991. By 1996 other prisoners were moved and it closed its doors as a correction facility. In 1997 it was officially set aside as a museum and by 1999 was recognised as World Heritage Site. It holds rich history of not only South Africa or Africa but the rest of changing world. As all are a witness of this as we mourn Mandela!


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.

%d bloggers like this: