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Kayole, a clutter of tall storey buildings

By | May 6th 2010 | 3 min read
By | May 6th 2010

By Michael Oriedo

It is one of the most popular and populous estates in Nairobi. With a population of over half a million, Kayole leads among its peers like Dandora and Umoja estates, which offer affordable housing to the city’s rising population.

The estate located in Nairobi’s Eastlands area is, however, famous for all the wrong reasons. In the past, several incidents of crime, notably kidnapping, have been linked to the estate thus catapulting it to the limelight. In addition, different outlawed gangs operating in the area have muddied its name and clouded its many economic activities.

Equity Bank is among the many financial institutions in the area. [PHOTOS:  MICHAEL ORIEDO /STANDARD]

Despite this, Kayole’s dense population is its strength. This has made it a business hub as exemplified by various banks and micro-finance organisations that have opened their branches in the estate. Among them are Cooperative, Family and Equity banks all located along the estate’s main road. Kenya Commercial Bank also seems to be keen to tap the market if their Sales Centre and ATM machine installed recently are anything to go by.

Affordable houses

Most of the popular small businesses include food kiosks, shops, groceries, money transfer services and second-hand clothes trading. Many of the roads in the estate are jammed with these traders, who jostle for space with pedestrians and matatus.

Talking of matatus, Kayole has the highest number of public service vehicles in Nairobi. Estimated to be about 800, these vehicles have been blamed for causing major traffic jams on Jogoo Road during peak hours.

When it comes to housing, Kayole is a favourite for those seeking decent and affordable houses. Most of the houses are storied with the tallest going up to fifth floor. They are closely packed, giving the estate an aura of congestion.

Nonetheless, rents are affordable. Bed-sitters go for Sh2,000 to Sh3,000 while single bedroom houses go for between Sh5,000 and Sh6,000.

Rent for a two-bedroom house ranges between Sh8,000 and Sh10,000. Lately, rent has increased significantly as many developers put up spacious and modern houses. Noteworthy also, Kayole is home to numerous churches and bars scattered in every alley in the estate.

One of the busy streets in Kayole’s residential area.

These two institutions jostle for attention from residents especially on weekends. However, on who wins, your guess is as good as mine.

Bright future

In the education circles, every year, Kayole claims a stake of national fame in Kenya Certificate of Primary Education. New Light Primary, one of the private schools here produces some of the best students.

Very soon, the area is set to transform as businesspeople and property developers strive to explore opportunities offered by Kayole and adjacent estates like Komarock, Umoja, Jacaranda and Donholm.

A Sh103 million shopping mall will be constructed in the area. Dubbed East Gate, the Good Life Mall, the shopping complex will be the first one of its kind in Eastlands.

According to developers, the mall will have a supermarket hall, a banking hall, four ATM lobbies, 30 franchise shops, a cinema hall, a 150-capacity parking space and a food court consisting of eight restaurants.

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