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September 21, 2018

Hawker menace, traffic jams top residents’ concerns

Hawkers on backstreet Nairobi selling their wares including phones yesterday. Photo/monicah Mwangi
Hawkers on backstreet Nairobi selling their wares including phones yesterday. Photo/monicah Mwangi

Nairobi residents are putting pressure on Governor Mike Sonko's administration to tackle problems hurting their lives.

Edwin Ondieki, a matatu operator, says while the governor promised to deal with traffic jams in the city, he needs to step up his traffic management model to ease the flow of vehicles.

"We spend three to four hours in traffic jams. This means we must charge high fares so we can make up for lost time. Something must be done," he says.

He says they are struggling everyday to raise money for matatu owners to repay loans as well as get their daily salaries.

Jenifer Njeri, a hawker selling her wares along the CBD streets, says her life is unbearable, given her run-ins with city askaris.

"I risk everyday with my one-year-old baby running around the city, avoiding arrests just to eke out a living. The governor needs to look into our plight," she said, adding that they are being driven out of the CBD, where business is booming.

But Sameul Ndung’u, who is operating a spare parts shop along Luthuri Avenue, backs the government's policy against hawkers.

Ndung'u, who has been in business along the busy road for over 15 years, says the county government, in collaboration with the national government, have done well of late in driving hawkers out of the city centre.

Fellow businessman Richard Njoroge, who operates a hardware shop within River Road area, agrees. “He has tried and when you look around, even if they are still battling out daily with hawkers, much progress has been made,” he says.

COUNTY PROJECTS

Some of the projects the county has been working on are access road of Kirinyaga Road, Hope Petrol Station Road in Kayole, rehabilitation of Kinoo Road off Joseph Kangethe Road, and construction of footbridge across Kiu River along Kamitu Road.

There is also rehabilitation of Falcon Road, of Vanga Road, and of roads in Kangemi ward, as well as grading and gravelling of Tasia Estate Road and construction of Karen Ridge Road.

Others are rehabilitation of Chalbi Drive, rehabilitation of Bishop Ireri Road, construction of access road to Maji mazuri, construction of Captain Mungai Street, construction of Aviation Total Road, rehabilitation of Mukuyu Road and rehabilitation of Peponi Soko Mjinga Road.

Additional projects are the drainage, improvement in Kayole, rehabilitation of access road to Akiba II Estate, construction of Catholic Awendo Dandora Road, rehabilitation of Ndemi Road, rehabilitation of Gathuru Road in Kawangware ward and rehabilitation of Kirichwa Road.

There is also the ongoing construction of the New Donholm Road, construction of walkways from Pangani to Limuru Road through City Park and selected roads in Utawala ward, rehabilitation of Baridi Road in Pangani ward, and grading and gravelling of Ngina Road in Reruta Satellite Ward.

Roads executive Mohamed Degane said the earmarked projects will be completed as they have been budgeted for. “We will deliver on what Sonko promised Nairobi. We want to work closely with stakeholders,” he said.

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