Posts tagged ‘EUI’

Concern for Kenya Cities

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Each day we walk, drive and board buses in silent fear. Who knows where the next siren will sound and lives lost. It is a scare that is killing our economy. Our breath is held by terror clip. I am left wondering who is a terrorist or why clear lives of innocent blood!

It is hard for families that have lost loved ones through this difficult cloud of terror. The world is full of things, good and bad. But my heart is not weary of the worst. For there is always an equal measure of goodness about to happen. Kenyans have built their economy with minimum natural resources. The dawn of oil in Turkana will not mean reversed era. We will not stop to hold up our national responsibility because of peace of our sisters and brothers in Somali.

The WestgatE terror incident united us – WeAreOne. Subsequent terrors at Thika road, Gikomba market, Likoni Church and many more  places will leave us standing strong. Unfortunately, some of us have opted war than peace to reign for Africa’s emerging economy.

Where is this driving us to? An article by CityLab recently found that insecurity on streets of Cairo contributed to more traffic congestion. Nairobi and other cities will they be forced to adopt home workers or cycling to work – at least safer.

It is possible to provide security against other ills, but as far as death is concerned, we men live in a city without walls.” – Epicurus quotes (Greek philosopher, BC 341-270)

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.

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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.

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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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