Posts Tagged ‘Housing and Urban Development’

ReliEnvironmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) is a process carried before any infrastructure development to ascertain the real impact and benefits of the project on the social, environment and what will be the mitigations to be undertaken to reduce negative biodiversity impacts. One of the key successes of any ESIA is by ensuring all stakeholders associated with the project are involved so that nobody is left out. These projects may be associated with housing, roads, dams, buildings and roads among others.

Kenya is increasingly experiencing implementation of major projects many being funded by big multilateral agencies such as European Union, AfDB and World Bank for electrification, geothermal and road constructions. One of the major requirements apart from project proposal is the institution of Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for any project together with Social and Environmental Management Plan (SEMP). But how many people take intense look at both ESIA and especially SEMP report and monitor if the recommendations stated in these documents are being carried out?

The assumption is that the mitigation of negative impacts as stated in the recommendations will be adhered to by the engineers, government agencies, and community or project affecting persons who all have a major role in ensuring the project is implemented according to the original plans.

At what stage do we have ESIA National Environmental Management Authority making follow up after any projects ends and can the ESIA and SEMP reports still be used beyond the project timeline? Once the project starts, it is expected that the contractor will provide environmental management plan and possibly share it with the community and relevant authorities. Walking across major roads in Nairobi, it is common to notice open man holes and unfinished projects with no contractor on side which continuously poses a great danger to motorists and pedestrians. Look at Juja Road, Nairobi where a contractor left the site more than 10 years ago and unfinished open drainages, regular cabling projects and lack of pedestrians walking paths.

Lesson for Outering Road: On 31st May 2015, Citizen TV 9.00 pm news, aired item from of members of the public complaining about dangers posed by the open drainages and comments from victims along Thika Superhighway apart from regular road accidents. This clearly shows that once the project is finished then ESIA and SEMP becomes a forgotten document. Regular negative news from the much praised Thika Superhighway is not encouraging. The number of road accident especially by the pedestrian is quite high despite construction of footbridges together will less efforts to clear open air traders who have encroached on the pedestrian and bicycle paths is not encouraging.
The only visible ‘SEMP visible along Thika Superhighway is regular road maintenance most of it partly attributed by frequent road accidents. As the government and AfDB embarks on upgrading of Outering Road, it will be important for stakeholders to be informed and engaged in ensuring that Social and Environmental Management Plan is fully respected and monitored for a successfully projects.


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

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.

SidewalkWhen I started the Outering Road Upgrade Project blog, I thought it would be easy. Talking to people, taking pictures and making new friends. I was wrong. I have just gotten myself into trouble. The number of inquiries I receive range from how will the design of the road be like, who will be relocated, who will be compensated, how will the the project affected persons be assisted to access compensation and much more.
I therefore decided to go back and do proper research since when going out people want to know. There is very little inform for the project affected persons.
I am currently reading documents related to the road. Going to KURA has not been much help. I was told to write an official letter by gatekeeper at the office since I did not have an appoint.

From Friday, this blog will start real features on OUTERING ROAD UPGRADE PROJECT

Some of the places and scenery that will change once the road upgrade is completed;
Phot 1Phot 2Phot 3Phot 4Phot 5Phot 6

hawkersThis weekend, I had an opportunity to interact with some of the mechanics to affected with the road upgrade process. There are fears that the 445 list the African Development Bank and Governor Kidero has not included the real people such as M-pesa shops, jua kali mechanics and mama mbongas who have been operating their businesses along the road for the last 15 yrs.
Several meetings have been called at Kariobangi Catholic Church, Jowanga Hotel and Kenya School of Monetary Studies but a real solution has never been found to address some of their concerns. Talking to one of the leaders who had approached African Development Bank and KURA to check whether their names are on the list, he was shocked to be told that the list is confidential while he is well known by fellow mechanic as ‘chairman’ having being operating next to Kariobangi Catholic Church for more than 25 years. Mr. Chairman once engaged road engineers and was told that the road is 65 metres wide.
A video of these experiences is being collected and will be shared with African Development Bank since the bank has a policy regarding relocation policy for people affected by the road. Who are 445 people and more than 300 residents to be affected. From Thursday be ready for their experiences…..

Bus stage next to the Umoja Buru Buru junctionThis morning, I decided to take a motor bike ride from GSU along Thika Rd to Airport Rd. It was a risky affair. My ‘driver’ was overtaking in such a way that I didn’t believe that I will make it to the otherside unhurt. Immediately we arrived near Taj Mall, I fired and him and took another motor bike thinking it will be different.

I was totally wrong! This one was even worse. Overtaking and driving in the middle of the road. He gave me his helmet while he had none. I never made it with him to GSU rather I fired him too at Juja Rd Outering Rd junctions and decided to terminate my ‘morning adventure’. Taking a motor bike along Outering Rd, you can see people, cars, bicycle and motor bikes too competing for space.

Pedestrians are the worst since they can be seen crossing haphazardly without much care. There is no footbridge anywhere. The road is very narrow and in some place you have to avoid overflowing water on road since if your are on a motor bike or bicycle then chances of being splashed by dirty water are high. Matatus are stopping any place to pick up the passengers.

Surely upgrading of the road will bring some sanity. But my experience today, we need alot of education and awareness for pedestrians, bicycle riders and matatus. Adhering to traffic rules will save time and life along Outering Rd.