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Nairobi Governor Kidero should end the suffering of Nairobians

By JACKTONE AMBUKA | Wed,Jan 07 2015 19:05:00 EAT

 Evans Kidero Photo: Courtesy

In her enduring writings that shaped the world's understanding of grief, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, a Swiss-American psychiatrist opined that "The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known struggle, known loss and have found out their way out of those depths." Perhaps some people are well-acquainted with Ms. Kubler as an author of a groundbreaking book entitled 'On Death and Dying.' It was in this book Ms. Kubler first discussed her theory on five stages of grief, namely; denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance-which were later popularized as a compelling model in counseling. As I re-read this book for the second time, resilience of the residents of Nairobi-a city I lived in for five years searching for employment, kept creeping throughout my mind. It was as if Ms. Kubler had Nairobians in mind as she articulated the five stages of grief. In the wake of two storey buildings that collapsed in Makongeni and Huruma in under a month, in which eleven people were killed and scores wounded. Nairobians are indeed a grieving people, but somehow they remain strong. Name depressing situations and Nairobians will testify of their experiences, and thus, a belief among Nairobians; that if you can survive in Nairobi, you can survive in any city on the face of the earth. In Nairobi and its environs, most feeder-roads are dilapidated. Yet, Nairobians drive on them cautiously without complaining to evade potential fatalities. Most buildings are constructed under substandard workmanship and are a disaster in waiting. Yet, Nairobians still maintain their faith in most of greedy landlords to rent spaces anyway.


The environment is polluted by smoke from un-inspected vehicles and unwarranted noises. Yet, Nairobians remain cool, calm and collected as National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) looks the other side. Sporadic power and water outages happen without warning leaving residents in the dark without water to flush their toilets, drink and cook. Yet, Nairobians remain silently hoping for the best. Strained sewer system is broken in most parts and is emitting offensive smell. Yet, the best Nairobians can do is to cover their noses and spit as they pass by smelly areas. Piles of garbage have become acceptable landmarks in most residential areas.


Moreover, as corruption continues to choke life from Nairobi's economy, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) is moribund to mitigate stings of corruption. Meanwhile, parking situation is increasingly becoming a nightmare. Yet, the county government is hiking parking fees instead of finding alternative solutions. Truth be told, most Nairobians I speak with are tired. Nairobi needs leaders with big brains and big ideas not big cars.  

Yet, from projecting their anger and bargain with near-irresponsive central and county governments, to being depressed and eventually accepting and moving on with unfortunate situations-the beautiful people of Nairobi have seen and gone through it all. Negligence among Nairobi County government officials who are supposed to enforce the law is unacceptable. To change laissez-faire mentality, Governor Kidero must impose consequences.

Furthermore, lack of accountability between enormous taxes paid by hardworking Nairobians in the face of deteriorating services rendered by the County government to residents is saddening. However, depressing situation is not exclusive to Nairobi. It is experienced in most cities and towns across Kenya including my home town of Luanda in Bunyore. It would seem, when Nairobi coughs the whole country catches fever.


By and large, selective beauty in affluent neighborhoods is deceiving. The real Kenyan picture is captured by the lower and middle class people living in villages, cities and slums-where more than a half of Kenyans reside. But to reform Kenya we must first reform Nairobi. That's why Governor Evans Kidero must step up to the plate and end the suffering among Nairobians.





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