LAYING THE GROUNDWORK

NMS rolls out projects unbothered by 'political feuds'

It was given 100 days to ensure effective garbage collection and crack down on illegal dumpsites.

In Summary

• June 18 marks the end of the 100 days given to NMS boss and his team to deliver on certain projects.

• Unlike Governor Sonko who is used to media publicity, NMS Director General Mohammed Badi has embarked on the journey away from the limelight.

Nairobi Metropolitan Service Director General Mohammed Badi in a meeting at KICC on May 21, 2020.
Nairobi Metropolitan Service Director General Mohammed Badi in a meeting at KICC on May 21, 2020.
Image: COURTESY

Unbothered by City Hall wrangles, the Nairobi Metropolitan Service is already working to deliver what was promised within 100 days of takeover.

President Uhuru Kenyatta gave it 100 days to ensure effective garbage collection, a crackdown on illegal dumpsites, and the gazettement of the legal solid waste dumpsites for both public and private solid waste collectors. The 100 days end on June 18. 

The executive and the county assembly are embroiled in supremacy wars over budget allocation to the newly established offices. The NMS has, however, opted to focus on its mandate. 

On February 25, Governor Mike Sonko handed over four-county functions to the national government under the Deed of Transfer. The dockets are planning and development, public works, health, transport, utilities and ancillary services.

As a result, the NMS was created on March 18. It also expected to come up with equitable water distribution strategies under the rationing programme and actualisation of the Nairobi City Railway Master Plan that seeks to create a world-class multi-model rail in the Central Business District.

Nairobi Metropolitan Service offcials in a meeting chaired by Director General Mohammed Badi on May 21, 2020.
Nairobi Metropolitan Service offcials in a meeting chaired by Director General Mohammed Badi on May 21, 2020.
Image: COURTESY

Unlike Governor Sonko who is used to media publicity, NMS Director General Mohammed Badi has embarked on the journey away from the limelight.

In April, the national government allocated his team Sh3.8 billion to kick-start operations, with Sh2.2 billion set aside for salaries and operations and the rest appropriated for the rollout of development projects.

Nearly every week, Badi has been holding meetings with his team to discuss progress on each docket handled by the office.

On May 21, he and deputy director general Enosh Momanyi received reports on the current status of projects from NMS directors. He reaffirmed his personal commitment, alongside that of the service, to improve services.

He emphasised the need for public-private partnerships in improvements of building frontages through the painting and beautification project.

“The government is currently seized with programmes towards the management and containment of Covid-19. As such, the taskforce members should explore all partnership possibilities and have a cost-effective budget in the implementation of this project,” Badi said.

He spoke while receiving a report by the taskforce on the improvement of building frontages. It was handed to him by NMS director Jones Ntabo, who is in charge of Lands and Physical Planning.

Badi urged the team to join hands with private and public organisations that are implementing similar projects so they can be cost-effective.

Nairobi Metropolitan Service Director General Mohammed Badi inspects ongoing rehabilitation works in Michuki Park, Nairobi, in May, 2020.
Nairobi Metropolitan Service Director General Mohammed Badi inspects ongoing rehabilitation works in Michuki Park, Nairobi, in May, 2020.
Image: COURTESY

Disciplined ‘kanjo’ officers

The NMS also aims at retraining county enforcement officers to instil discipline and ethical values in the directorate. This is meant to improve their image for enhanced service delivery.

This comes after the service hired 1,000 askaris through the Public Service Commission. The NMS enforcement team, led by Dr Mark Leruk, pointed out that the new officers will be taken through a transformational programme to equip them with requisite skills and knowledge.

Away from the office at the KICC, Badi has also been on the ground inspecting some of the projects. They include rehabilitation of the Michuki Park, which had been taken over by street children.

The park was established in 2012 and is situated along the Nairobi River between the Globe Cinema roundabout and the far end of Uhuru Highway.

"We've managed to get rid of the solid waste in the park and convince the people who had encroached on the park to move,” Badi said.

Pathways are being constructed in the park before it is opened for use.

Nairobi Metropolitan Service Director General Mohamed Badi and residents of Mukuru kwa Njenga during a roads inspection tour in May, 2020.
Nairobi Metropolitan Service Director General Mohamed Badi and residents of Mukuru kwa Njenga during a roads inspection tour in May, 2020.
Image: COURTESY

The NMS is also implementing the Nairobi Mobility Plan and Non-Motorised Transport in collaboration with Kura, Kenha and Kerra.

According to NMS Transport and Public Works director Michael Ochieng', Phase One runs along the Nairobi River from Donholm to Westlands to Eastlands and allows residents to walk or cycle into the CBD, Industrial Area and Westlands.

Phase Two will join Phase One at the city centre and runs to Lang'ata via railway city. Phase Three will start from the CBD to Ngara and goes all the way to Roysambu.

"The implementation of NMT (Non-Motorised Transport) within the CBD is ongoing on Muindi Mbingu Street, Wabera Street and Kenyatta Avenue,” Eng Ochieng said.

"These projects will enhance walking spaces and encourage Nairobians to start using bicycles as another form of transport that is safe, efficient and economic."

At the same time, restoration of streetlights is underway. It is spearheaded by streetlighting director Kenneth Chege and Kenya Power. Already, they have restored those on Haile Selassie Avenue, Kenyatta Avenue, Zanzibar Road in South B, Central Park, Kibera Drive, Komarock and Ngumba estates, among other places.

The NMS is also collecting garbage around the city Nairobi through the National Youth Service. 

Ongoing works along Kenyatta Avenue
Ongoing works along Kenyatta Avenue
Image: COURTESY