Nairobi News


Yes, Eastlands upgrade long overdue

For a good reason, Nairobi’s Eastlands has a place in the hearts of many city residents. It is either the place they or their parents were born or lived.

For many others, it is the place they first lived when they came to the county or started working.

This is not by fluke. The colonial government, in its wisdom, decided that it was Eastlands where Africans should stay.

It went on to divide the population into ethnic groups. A place like Bahati largely remains Kikuyu to date, while Eastleigh, where Asians and Somalis were lumped together, remains Somali-dominated.

However, starting with the Moi leadership, the area was neglected. The old Nairobi City Council went to the seed and the planned estates like Buruburu and Umoja degenerated so fast that only people with little choice lived there.

With the opening of neighbouring counties and the outskirts through good roads, water and power investment, the residents have been trooping out in droves.

That could, to an extent, be stemmed by good investment in the area. Notable is Outering Road which is expected to consume Sh11 billion.

The road will bring better quality real estate investment and redevelopment that can generate jobs and improve the standards of living in the area.

Lest we forget, Eastlands with all its stink, still has the best urban infrastructure, which is sorely lacking in the new Nairobi residential areas like Kikuyu, Kitengela, Ngong, Rongai, Kiserian, Ruiru, Kiambu and Kahawa.

This includes roads, street lighting and sewer lines — whatever shape they are in currently.

It thus follows that investing in Eastlands is much more attractive than going to the outskirts where the government and the World Bank are just starting to plan for the infrastructure.

The NairobiNews welcomes the rejuvenation of this expansive, residential area. Let the county government invest more in the city to stop the migration to the peri-urban which is costing the economy billions.

The investment in roads and railway infrastructure will go a long way in achieving this.

Governor Evans Kidero should rope in the private sector to make this dream a reality.

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