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Kahawa Wendani, where love binds all

 A residential building at Kahawa Wendani.

A stranger in Kahawa Wendani may be forgiven for thinking the place is an extension of Kenyatta University, which is 2km away. It is, after all, a choice accommodation hub for students - many settle for bedsitters or one-bedroom flats.

And thanks to its proximity to the Thika Super Highway, Kahawa Wendani is also an ideal residential area for many city residents. Then there is the sense of security from the Kahawa military barracks right opposite.

Like its name 'Wendani', which means love in Kikuyu, the residents here - students, civilians and soldiers - have learnt to co-exist cordially.

Unfortunately, the houses in Kahawa Wendani are not enough to meet the demand.

High demand

James Macharia, a caretaker in a recently completed five-storey residential building, admits there is great demand for decent housing.

"We have about 90 bedsitter units; once they were ready for occupation they were all taken - in less than three weeks," he says.

Mr Macharia says most of the occupants are students who booked in advance when the building was nearing completion.

Aside from the scarcity of housing, there are also water problems in most of the estates. Some landlords haven't invested adequately in water storage, knowing that is not reason enough for one to reject a house.

If anything, the demand has prompted some landlords to hike their rents.

Hiked rents

A spacious bedsitter with clean water and electricity attracts between Sh8,000 and Sh9,000 in rent monthly. Aside from this, the tenants are required to pay about Sh500, which caters for garbage collection and security.

Then there is the problem of poor roads, especially during the rainy season. Some have gaping holes that collect rain water, making them impassable. Recent repairs did little to help and residents now want the county government to intervene. 

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