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How Uhuru’s signature is set to end traffic madness in Nairobi

The establishment of an authority whose mandate will be to ease traffic jams in Nairobi and satellite towns is awaiting the President’s signature, Transport principal secretary Irungu Nyakera told MPs on Tuesday.

Mr Nyakera said his ministry had forwarded a draft Executive Order for the establishment of the Nairobi Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (Namata) to the President.

“We have submitted an Executive Order for the President’s signature to establish Namata. The authority will be tasked with establishing a mass transport system, commuter services and the public transport within Nairobi metropolis,” he told the National Assembly’s Transport committee.

Appearing before the committee over the ministry’s budget for the 2017/18 financial year, Mr Nyakera said a memorandum of understanding had been signed between the national government and five counties around Nairobi.

The counties are Nairobi, Kajiado, Kiambu, Murang’a and Machakos.

He said Sh400 million has been set aside under the Nairobi commuter rail project for the relocation action plan to create corridors for commuter rail operations.

Mr Nyakera said the Sh400 million will be spent on the relocation action plan  and construction of housing units at Mukuru and Kibera slums, which are expected to be completed by next March.

“We will soon have a lot more commuter rails. We have refurbished 20 coaches and will be doing another 40 in the coming year. We are soon going to sign a commercial contract for construction of the commuter rail from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to Nairobi central business district (CBD), he said.