PHOTOS: Badi transforms Nairobi in 100 days shaming Sonko and Kidero
Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) has in the first 100 days in office given Nairobi a major facelift dwarfing the two regimes since the advent of devolution in 2013.
With a shoestring budget, NMS under the stewardship of Major General Mohammed Badi has embarked on the transformation of a capital city that was first synonymous with garbage, street families, corruption, hawkers menace, among other ills.
Ever since coming into office in March to oversee four county government functions of transport, health, public works, utilities and ancillary services, and county planning and development, Nairobi has undergone a complete metamorphosis.
The failed leadership of former governor Evans Kidero and that of current governor Mike Sonko have been left taking notes as NMS Director General Badi takes them through “Management 101”. Mr Sonko would often broadcast his “development” activities live on Facebook, sometimes even late in the night.
Tasked with bringing to an end the deep-rooted corruption as well as dismantle cartels that had hindered the development of the county by President Uhuru Kenyatta, the new sheriff in town seems to have delivered.
In just 100 days in office, the transformation has been evident and the once “city in the garbage” is slowly regaining its lost glory courtesy of the Maj Gen Badi-led team.
“We have heeded your call during our commissioning to bring an end to the rampant corruption and dismantle the cartels that were adversely affecting (the) provision of services in the City, greatly slowing down its growth,” said Mr Badi during the marking of NMS’s 100 days achievements scorecard this week.
NMS has already slain the corruption behemoth at City Hall that is domiciled at the urban planning department, which has been synonymous with corruption with cases of developers given the leeway by county planning officers to build haphazardly in the capital after parting with “something small”.
Already, a backlog of 4,400 development applications that had accumulated as backlog by the time NMS took over, due to corruption cartels at City Hall, has been cleared with the new office currently processing 100 percent of the development applications submitted for approval in a timely and predictable way.
However, NMS’s most visible achievement has been in the transport, roads and public works, which have seen Nairobi get the much-needed facelift.
A non-motorised transport project is currently ongoing in Kenyatta Avenue, Muindi Mbingu Street and Wabera Street with pedestrian walkways and cycling lanes, all at 60 percent completion stage, while road construction and rehabilitation are ongoing in different parts of the county.
There is also the rehabilitation and re-introduction of traffic signals in the city centre, Community area, Gikomba, Muthurwa, Kirinyaga Road and environs, Murang’a Road matatu terminus and Kenyatta National Hospital.
Automated hourly car parking facilities have also been integrated on Desai Road, Machakos Bus station, Sunken Car Park and Nairobi Law Court Parking into the Nairobi Revenue Service Programme.
Another area that had seen Nairobi lose its glory was in garbage collection with mounds of solid waste becoming a new normal in the city.
However, NMS has put in place effective garbage collection and disposal with daily average collection increased from the previous 1,000 tons to 2,500, which has resulted in over 70 percent of garbage backlog being cleared.
“The City is slowly regaining its glory as garbage heaps are diminishing every day,” said the DG.
Another cash cow for political leaders in the county has been the proliferation of illegal dumping areas but since taking over, the new office has identified 110 such sites and is in the process of closing 82 of them.
With Nairobi’s main dumping site, Dandora Dumpsite three times full, there are plans to relocate the dumpsite in the long run. However, in the short term, NMS is in the process of designating 35 solid waste collection points.
Nairobi residents have been undergoing water rationing since April 2017 with informal settlements particularly hard-hit.
However, the new office has embarked on easing the pressure on residents by adopting three strategies including the sinking of boreholes, the extension of water piping and use of water bowsers to ensure efficient and equitable water distribution in the capital.
So far, out of 93 borehole sites, 92 are complete and operational. In collaboration with the Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company, 20,903 meters of extension piping has been completed and already supplying water to the residents and 13 million litres of water has been distributed using water bowsers to the informal settlements.
To regulate the cost and quality of water supplied in Nairobi by reining in on water vendors who fleece city residents charging exorbitant prices for their supply, while colluding with the utility firm officers, NMS in collaboration with Water Services Regulatory Board gazetted water bowsers and exhausters on June 8, 2020.
The good work by NMS has not gone unnoticed with citizen number one, President Kenyatta giving a thumb of approval to the new office, saying there is evidence that progress has been made with NMS on its way to delivering a dream Nairobi by transforming it into a go-to City in Africa and the world.
“The evidence of this progress can already be seen. Our neighbourhoods are beginning to look cleaner, hundreds of young people, especially those in poor and vulnerable communities in the city are earning a living,” said the Head of State.
By Collins Omulo