Welcome to Nairobi County…city askaris are usually seen patrolling the streets, controlling traffic while some workers are in the slashing grass and trimming overgrown trees or shrubs. Parking attendants are seen patrolling the streets up and down collecting parking fees. At City Hall the receipts are manually processed. At some points police are seen patrolling the streets and others managing traffic flow which to some is a sense of security within the city.
In some parts of the city, estates are choking with uncollected garbage, lack of adequate and quality water, insecurity, ill equipped and underfunded social halls…but still the county government collects revenue from the people.
The residents and business are blamed for lack of paying land rates and other levies thus denying council revenue to run the city while government officials talk of modernizing and equip the police with latest technology to combat the rate of crime.
Cities that have integrated use of technology in their service provision are known to collect more revenue and being efficient. Equipping police with cars is not enough rather the eye and ear of police being allover is important. Cities like London have cameras almost everywhere enabling the police to respond to emergencies and be better in investigations of crime and drivers are careful since they know that somebody is watching.
When I visited New York and Washington DC in 1999 I was ‘shocked’ to see a truck fitted with huge round brush being driven to clean the street. The truck had only one person. I think Nairobi has only one if am not wrong.
Walking into City Hall very few offices are equipped with computers. There is a lot of paper moving around which tells you use of computers is minimal among the staff. In some of building, the receptionist record all entrants of the building into a register, but do they analyse these information for improve service?
Having use technology will help city collect revenue more efficient but this should go beyond by also improving service delivery in areas such managing waste, parking spaces and security.