Archive for the ‘Community Participation’ Category

Outering 2When Outering Road is fully upgraded into a dual there will be need to improve road in estates such as Kariobangi South, Umoja Donholm and Buru Buru plus areas such Mathare North and Kariobanging Light Industries. These estates have very few road entering Outering Road which might lead to frequent traffic jams at the junctions into the estates. Here are some of the junctions into the estates:

Roads Outering Rd

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DSCF5237Finally the much awaited Outering Road construction was officially launched by President Uhuru Kenya on 22/1/2015. The new road will have new features such high speed and service lanes, walking and bicycle paths, bridges and flyovers. With these new development, it is expected that road users will be forced to up their skills how they interact with the road especially, public transport vehicles, pedestrians and motorists.

Public transport will have to content with ‘small’ space allocated as bus stop for busy routes such as Kayole, Umoja and Juja Road which have several bus / matatu numbers. Self discipline and obeying road signs will help reduce an unnecessary traffic jam and accidents.

Despite the road being busy and located in densely populated areas it does not have a single foot bridge. Pedestrians will enjoy the services of more than 10 footbridges along the 13Km road and side walks. Currently, some pedestrians have been knocked while attempting to cross the road. Experience from Thika Super Highway has shown that there is need to create awareness on road safety which the road is being constructed plus ensuring community participate identifying appropriate location for bridges based on access to resources as such as markets, learning institutions, bus stops and residential areas.

Outering Road will have high speed lanes which will see easier movement of people and goods. This will call for road design that will deter pedestrians from crossing at undesignated areas.

Cyclists will enjoy the new cycling lanes which were not there before. The Kenya Urban Roads Authority and Nairobi County government should ensure that walking and cycling paths are protected so as not to be invaded by hawkers and other open air traders as in the case of Thika Super High Way at Githurai and GSU fly over.

All road users will have to develop new skills once the new look Outering Road is completed. Given that this will be most high speed road, use of CCTV cameras will come in handy in nabbing traffic offenders while associated agencies can carry our massive awareness on road safety before the completion of the project. – Simon

Houses constructed next to the river

Houses constructed next to the river


It is now becoming a common feature in the newspaper to read an individual or a group of people also known as Project Affected Persons (PAPs) raising concerns how infrastructure development projects are being implemented in their locality. From Kitui, Kajiado to Turkana local people have raised issues about these projects in their areas. To some bureaucrats, financiers, investors and contractors PAPs are unreasonable, narrow minded, short sighted and as described by Nation newspaper columnist recently ‘a group with over exaggerated sense of rights’. Why do PAPs emerge with grievances in the middle of the project implementation and how best can their issues be addressed?

People are now more informed than before when community rarely asked questions but instead clapped for any kind of development coming their way. The cases that have been highlighted in the media, has exhibited limited lack of involvement, engagement, participation and consultation by between the state agencies concerned and the people.
Currently people in Kajiado are not happy and are seeking same treatment as other areas when it comes to compensation for way leaves (power lines) to pass through their area. Consulting the locals and even undertaking an exchange program would have helped reduce misunderstanding between the organs concerned. The Standard Gauge Railway project is also bound to encounter similar challenges since most of its land have either been grabbed or encroached after many years of being partially in operation. The conditions set by the financiers of the project are not known to the PAPs. The institutional frame work should as much as possible work to address emerging concerns during the appraisal stages.

Kenya’s geo strategic locations and recent discovery of oil and other minerals has and will ‘force’ the government to rethink how best to strengthen its position in the region by investing in infrastructure and to improve the living standards of its citizens so as to attract more investment. Any good citizen will support the state when it comes to development but the government should protects it people against exploitation of any form.

There has been a lot of encroachment on land set aside for development in different parts of our country and this calls for proper engagement mechanisms to developed from appraisal to implementation stages. If today we are to implement rehabilitation of Nairobi River Project be sure that from Kibera to Mathare that there will be thousands of people to be relocated.
An extensive public consultation for PAPs can be an expensive affair but also very beneficial for the success of any project. Social development specialists must play a critical role in highlighting community concerns during Environmental and Social Impact Assessment since this will show a significant connection between the project being implemented and the community. Building schools, hospitals and boreholes goodies should go a step further by education and creating more awareness about the real benefits of the project being implement. As a society it will be naïve not to expect a person who is just about to be dislocated or whose property will be affected not to raise any concern.

traders 1The much awaited Nairobi Outering Road improvement project will start next month with traders operating along the road corridors expected to be relocated in the Nairobi County Markerts. This is according to Dr. Evans Kidero, the Nairobi City County Governor as reported in the Daily Nation of 17/9/2014.
The recently completed Eastleigh First Avenue which had traders operating along it busy road saw most of the small scale businesses disrupted to pave way for the upgrading of the road. The development of the road has greatly reduced traffic jam while it has also forced traders to seek alternatives elsewhere.
One thing that has come out during the upgrading of major roads in Nairobi is the ill preparedness of the Nairobi County to devise strategies of assisting small scale traders resettled before and during road construction. In Eastleigh, public lands have all been either grabbed or sold to private developers. The once famous Eastleigh Nairobi City County Market is no more.
The Nairobi City County government must develop strategies to help resettle small scale traders since this is a common feature along main Nairobi roads; From Mlango Kubwa to Outering Road about, City Stadium to Donholm Road About, at Kangemi , GSU roundabout and Githurai Thika Superhighway all have been invaded by small scale open air traders.
All the City County Markers along these major roads are full to capacity while the newly constructed stalls are controlled by private developers during allocations and are beyond the reach of ordinary open air traders which cost between Ksh. 150,000 to Ksh. 200,000 depending with where it is located.
Appraisal and Environment and Social Impacts reports give very little mention of small scale open air traders while it is also assumed that Nairobi City County will make prompt investment in relocating the traders to officially recognized spaces. In these reports permanent structure owners and landlords are at advantageous position to argue out for proper compensation than small scale open air traders.

Railway Crossing at Buru Buru

One major component of highway upgrading involves greening the road due to emission and other environmental factors related to the new development. During road construction, the landscape changes and in some cases trees have to be uprooted to give way. During or after the new road is completed efforts are put to ensure that along the highway we have some vegetation. The focus is usually done while no major efforts are invested in greening communities near the road.

Very little efforts are employed to ensure that neighbouring communities are also greened. Outering Rd neighbour communities with less vegetation like, Kariobangi, Umoja, Mathare and Mathare North. The contractor and government agencies concerned should also invest in tree planting in this neighbourhood given that they carry high population and they will be affected by the high numbers of cars that are expected to use the road.
Space is an issue in these place but more trees could be planted in schools, raparian lands and religious institution to help improve air quality in these densely populated communities.

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Obstacles to Implementing Green Highways (http://www.astm.org/SNEWS/SO_2008/bryce_so08.html)

Before any new technology can be introduced in society, it must be verified by a consistent history and accepted as safe for use. Most techniques that will lead to the creation and implementation of a green highway system are very young. Standards and research will aid in the development of a track record for technologies, but implementation of technology requires performance assurance.

SAM_0339The experience of designing, constructing, using and maintain Thika Road Super Highway should be treated like a manual for implementing future such projects in Kenya. From the look of things, this road is one of a kind in Kenya not only in terms of cost but importance and number of cars using it per day.
However the number of accidents occurring almost on a daily basis can be quite alarming. Pedestrians are seen in most cases ignoring foot bridges and attempting to cross at undesignated points while in some sections, traders have invaded walking and cycling lane. Very few people are seen cycling along the road.
Outering Road is soon to be upgraded with almost near facilities like footbridges, sidewalk and cycling lanes. This is going to be totally new experience for

If there is one area that questions are emerging about the road is the design and number of accidents being reported on a daily basis? Outering Road designers can build on the experience of Thika Road-Super Highway to construct a road which will motivate cyclists, safe for pedestrians to walk, have fewer accidents given that Outering Road is cutting through densely populated communities.

Communities living on both sides of Outering Road interact with each other more frequently for work, to access banking facilities, supermarkets, markets; religious and learning institutions on daily basis and people are seen crossing the road more frequently. High speeding driving in newly constructed roads in Kenya is very common. Driving from Pangani to Thika town, one will see high speed driving, visible accidents signs where we have turn and road signs knocked down.

Lessons from Thika Road Super Highway should help stakeholders to think ways of reducing speed and erecting foot bridges at appropriate points. Pedestrians on both sides of Outering Roads are used to crossing narrow road for now hence need for proper public awareness while the road is under construction and after completion on the importance of using food bridges.

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road signsGood road should be there to enhance public safety for all road users such as motorists, pedestrians and animal crossing. Road signs play a great role in promoting safety and proving cautionary measures.
Thika Super Highway has seen new features such bridges, drainage reduction in hill elevation for some section. One common feature along Thika Super Highway is people crossing in none designated sections. Near Roysambu roundabout next power station people are seen attempting to cross and ignoring the bridge which is next to the bus stage. There are no road signs warning pedestrians not to cross the road.
Our government should promote education on road signs regularly for all road users. For example the bicycle tracks along Thika Super Highway have either been invaded by motorbikes or hawkers thus discouraging bicycle users especially section next to Alsops or opposite GSU. Hawkers operating near the highway should also be involved in road sign education programme since they are always interacting with many people each day.
Outering Road has an opportunity to integrate more use of road signs from the start instead introducing them after the road is finished. I came across this handbook from United Kingdom, is a handbook which indicates all road signs likely to be found while driving in UK. (www.direct.gov.uk/prod_consum_dg/groups/dg…/dg_191955.pdf‎)