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Be warned, Nairobi’s city centre is no place for ladies

By Mercy Mbuge | July 20th 2018

They say that for a woman to be regarded as a lady then she must act like one–true. However, the environment must also nurture that kind of growth.

But Nairobi’s City Centre fails to offer a conducive environment for ladies. Its streets leave no room for elegance and etiquette.

Only recently, City Hall sent a delegation to a benchmarking trip in Kigali, Rwanda. Did they learn anything?

Take for example the state of our roads, most of them lack designated crossing points for pedestrians. Even where there is one, motorists will ignore it. As a result, here is what applies when crossing Nairobi’s streets: Look left and then run to the middle of the road as the speeding matatu misses your by a whisker then look right before crossing the rest of the road.

In between, however, one still has to watch out for boda-bodas that zoom from all directions. The other challenge is the congestion in the city centre.

To walk from Koja Mosque bus stop to downtown Afya Centre, a lady has to manoeuvre through a whole lot of people including pesky parking boys, menacing street boys, beggars and unruly hawkers. It is enough that our roads are too stressful to manoeuvre through, so when rain is added into the picture, a lady will shed tears.

No wonder ladies carry two pairs of shoes-a high heel for office and a rough pair for the streets. When a lady finally makes it to the bus stop, then she still has to push through the matatu door in disorderly bus stops. If the county truly wants to improve the city’s environment, then they must look at the solutions from a lady’s point of view.

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