State takes over key Nairobi county functions, KDF picks garbage

A pothole on a street in Nairobi CBD on May 11,2018. /ENOS TECHE
A pothole on a street in Nairobi CBD on May 11,2018. /ENOS TECHE

The national government has taken over key county functions following poor service delivery.

There has been an outcry by Nairobi residents over poor garbage collection, bad roads, insecurity in the city centre, influx of hawkers and traffic snarl ups. This has put Governor Mike Sonko’s administration on the spot.

Sonko has, however, put on a brave face, claiming he is a victim of negative propaganda and sabotage.


The breakdown of service delivery prompted President Uhuru Kenyatta to form a regeneration team to transform the city and improve services.

The team, co-chaired by Tourism CS Najib Balala and Governor Mike Sonko was tasked with ensuring garbage menace, poor roads, traffic jams and housing challenges are addressed.

On Tuesday, the team outlined its 30-day scorecard at a press conference at City Hall, where it emerged most of the county functions will now be handled by the government.

Garbage collection, which is primarily a devolved function, will now be done by the Kenya Defence Forces and the National Youth Service. The team said it has mapped out areas that will be prioritised. A total of 381 garbage trucks will be deployed.

The team had promised to clear garbage in all the 85 wards within 30 days. However, the city is still chocking with heaps of uncollected trash.

The committee also promised to launch the Kenya Mortgage Refinance Company to deliver affordable housing, but Infrastructure and Housing CS James Macharia said sites for developing the houses have been identified and actual work would begin in 90 days.

The committee has six months, divided into 30, 60 and 180 days periods to transform the city.

Commenting on the deplorable state of roads in the city, Macharia said the committee has mapped out all the roads that need repair in the city and found they require Sh4.1 billion.

He also said the Kenya Urban Roads Authority has taken over repair works of all the pathways, including those classified as county roads.

Already, the national government has released Sh2.6 billion and asked the county to cough Sh1.5 billion to carpet the roads.

“We have identified three Chinese contractors that will work on these roads in Eastlands,” Macharia said.

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On decongesting the city, Macharia said the national government will this month introduce 30 high-capacity buses, targeting 50 by December.

Sonko has fought off claims his is a failed government, saying his administration was partnering with national government because Nairobi is a 'unique county.'

The team said it has made strides in cleaning up Nairobi River. Environment CS Keriako Tobiko said major pollutants have been mapped out, illegal structures along the river demolished and several slaughterhouses closed.

The ministry has already hired 100 youths to work with the NYS to clean the river. Lands CS Farida Karoney said the ministry has already processed 53,000 title deeds for Eastlands residents.