39 new buses, car-free days planned to reduce jam in Nairobi

State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu

Some 39 more buses will be deployed to Nairobi roads to ease traffic congestion, State House has said.

State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu yesterday said car free days would start in Westlands and the central business district.

This is to coincide with the launch of the bus rapid transport system expected to be rolled out soon.

Renew Nairobi

Mr Esipisu said the plans were being undertaken by a team tasked to renew Nairobi. The team met President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday and promised to resign if its mission failed.

A traffic management committee, automation of bus terminuses, and improvement of non-motorised travel are also planned to be put in place.

Major roads connecting the city are to be upgraded.

“The launch of the BRT will be preceded by the availability of 39 buses and infrastructure improvement on Lang’ata, Mombasa, Jogoo, and Juja roads as well as Waiyaki Way,” he said in a press briefing.

The team is made up of both the national and county governments and is chaired by Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala.

"The team has set itself an ambitious delivery agenda covering 30 days and three and six months," said Esipisu.

He declined to give any information on the specific days for the car-free initiative but said traders would use those days to 'showcase their wares'.

 “Our understanding is that bus pick up points have now been set up and those will be communicated in the coming days,” he said.

It was also not clear when the buses would be on the road and who would operate them.

“They are on their way. I know that they plan a launch, so more details will be made available so that every citizen in Nairobi knows,” he said.

He said the changes on Nairobi roads would take six months.

The team promised that there would be no garbage heaps in the city within a month and a clean-up of Nairobi River would be undertaken.

“Within one month there should be no piles of garbage in any of the 85 electoral wards in the city. Also a clean-up of Nairobi River would have commenced,” he said.

Environmental awareness campaigns are planned as well as programmes for regular garbage collection.

Also paramount

Esipisu said affordable housing in the city was also paramount.

He announced that the ground-breaking for 2,000 housing units on Park Road would take place in the next three months.

Construction of 5,000 houses in Shauri Moyo, 20,000 houses in Makongeni, and 3,000 houses in Starehe would begin in the next six months.