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Empty streets in Nairobi as Kenyans mark New Year [Photos]


Little activity along Kenyatta Avenue outside the usually busy 680 Buildings as most Kenyans opted to stay away from Nairobi’s CBD on New Year. [Samson Wire, Standard]

Kenya marked the New Year in celebration amid the rising cases of the Covid-19 in the month of December.

In the last 48 hours alone, Kenya recorded 6,077 new Covid-19 cases as per the Ministry of Health figures.


Two people pull a cart along an empty Banda Street as most Kenyans opted to stay away from the city on January 1, 2022. [Samson Wire, Standard]

Unlike on December 25 when Kenyans thronged Nairobi Central business district to celebrate Christmas Day, Nairobi streets were empty on January 1 as Kenyans chose to mark the New Year indoors.

Nairobi became a ghost city without life with few police officers seen patrolling the streets.


Two police officers were on patrol on an empty street on January 1, 2022. [Samson Wire, Standard]

For others, it was the first time they are seeing Nairobi streets without cars and people.

“This is unlike the bustling Nairobi, more so the city centre which is always full of life. There are no vehicles and people,” said Robert Ouko who travelled from Homa Bay on Friday night.

“Please, those who want to see Nairobi, come now before human jam returns, the city is empty one can even sleep on the road,” Edwin Okundi posted on his social media.


An empty City Hall Way on Saturday, January 1, 2022. [Samson Wire, Standard]

According to Alphonse Ogonda, a motorist in the CBD, most Kenyans travelled home after President Uhuru Kenyatta lifted travel restrictions that were put in place to curb the spread of Covid-19.

“In 2020, the situation was different, there were so many deaths and even villagers never wanted people to travel from urban centres that were recording many cases,” said Ogonda.

He, however, said it was good for him because he took the shortest time to move from the city centre to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Embakasi.

“In a record six minutes, I was at the JKIA, unlike on normal days where I take more than an hour to go to the airport.”


A lone man walks past Banda street outside City market on January 1, 2022. Most Kenyans opted to stay away from Nairobi CBD on New Year. [Samson Wire, Standard]

Mombasa Road, Thika Superhighway, Jogoo Road, Outering Road, Ngong Road and Waiyaki Way are also empty with motorists plying the route having a field day.

This is the Nairobi we want, you reach your destination instantly. No more traffic jam,"said Eric Muasya, a tout operating along Mombasa Road.

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