EDITORIAL

Car-free day a welcome idea, promotes healthy living

In Summary

• The implementation of non-motorised transport will promote healthy living by encouraging exercise.

• Around the world, car-free days encourage people to give up their vehicles and use non-motorised transport, like biking, skating or walking.

Cyclists along the Oginga Odinga Street during the car-free day in Kisumu city on Saturday, December 11
PEDAL POWER: Cyclists along the Oginga Odinga Street during the car-free day in Kisumu city on Saturday, December 11
Image: MAURICE ALAL

Kisumu on Saturday launched a car-free day and closed the city’s three major streets to keep away vehicles and motorcycles to promote walking.

Officials said the aim is to cut emissions and reduce congestion by promoting bicycling, walking and skating.

While the Saturday trial is just the second, Kisumu hopes to have at least one Sunday a month set aside for car-free days once all problems are ironed out.

The implementation of non-motorised transport will promote healthy living by encouraging exercise. Around the world, car-free days encourage people to give up their vehicles and use non-motorised transport, like biking, skating or walking.

Cities such as Hamburg, Oslo, Helsinki and Madrid have already announced plans to become partly private car-free, while Paris, Milan, Dublin, Brussels, Copenhagen, Chengdu, Hyderabad and Bogota all have measures in place to reduce motorised transport.

Closer home, Uganda, Ethiopia and Rwanda have adopted monthly car-free days. The aim is to shift mobility solution away from the private cars and towards more environmentally friendly and citizen-focused means.

Kisumu is, therefore, on the right track to catching up with other big cities. It is time Nairobi, Mombasa and Nakuru also plan for car-free days.

It will encourage many Kenyans to exercise, even as families come out to enjoy a taste of their cities without the hustle and bustle attributed to matatus.