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Too Good, Yet too Bad!

By Fridah Okachi.

NMS also constructed pedestrian walkways and cycling lanes in different areas. In February 2021, the agency commenced construction of new tarmac roads in all the 17 sub counties in Nairobi, in a bid to improve accessibility in the informal settlement. This is according to the message from NMS website namcip.go.ke

The project will enable 34 kilometres of roads constructed in the area of Dagoretti south which is becoming part of an urban slum. This is being part of a Ksh5.8 billion plan aimed at upgrading 444 kilometres of access roads across informal settlements in Nairobi County.

The 5.8 billion plan has been confirmed by member of county assembly for Waithaka Antony kiragu Karanja. Karanja has confirmed that in his ward the project has already commenced where he has successful lobbied for 14 kilometres of cabros roads. However the same estimate of kilometres might be shared to the rest wards in Dagoretti sub County.

Waithaka MCA Antony Kiragu Karanja

Image: Anytony Kiragu Facebook page

Kevin Onani a resident of Marathon area, Riruta ward said that before the construction, the road was impassable due to muddy associated to its poor state.

On contrary since the inception of Nairobi metropolitan services (NMS) 3 years ago, the lifestyle has changed and business is doing well.

This has enabled them to earn a living. Onani added that even though the government is doing its part heavy commercial vehicles are misusing the road causing the breakage of cabros and destruction on drainage systems.

In Dagoretti sub-county, the road construction project will cover eleven areas inside and outside the sub-county. The areas includes Mutuini ward which will benefit with 408 km, Kawangware and Kangemi 93.6 km. The ongoing project of road construction will also involve water supply and rehabilitation of sewerage lines, as well as street lighting.


Road signboard indicating the kilometres of roads to be constructed in Dagoretti area

Simon is a resident of Mutuini ward. He is a banker and a businessman. He previously incur losses due to poor road network. He used a lot of money to transport goods to and from his warehouse.

Ernesto Onyango is a shoe maker. He said that the construction of the road was hurriedly and poorly done.

Upgrading and construction of roads in the informal settlements and densely populated areas in Nairobi project is distributed in 11 areas outside and inside Nairobi including water supply, drainage relocation and installation project of road auxiliary street lamps.


After the promulgation of the constitution 2010 the Kenyan road network was reclassified in order to improve network functionality and assign road management responsibilities to both National and County Governments
in accordance to the 2010 Kenya Constitution. This reclassification of road network has a
total 161,451 kilometres gazetted road length. It comprises of paved and unpaved roads with
different surface types.

According to economic survey 2020 As at June 2019, the lengths of roads classified as Super Highway under
bitumen remained at 80.9 kilometres, International Trunk roads length was 4,994.0 kilometres
while that of National Trunk roads and Primary roads stood at 4,592.0 and 5,495.0 kilometres,

Secondary roads under bitumen increased to 1,898.8 kilometres in 2019. Minor roads (special purpose and unclassified roads) totalling to 4,234.4 kilometres were tarmacked, an increase of 10.2 per cent over the review period.

The total length of roads under bitumen increased by 14.2 per cent to 21,295.1 kilometres in 2019.

In Kenya roads are classified as follows;

A superhighway (S)-Highway connecting two or more cities/towns meant to carry safely a large volume of traffic at the highest legal speed of operation.

International Trunk Road (A) -Roads forming strategic routes and corridors, connecting international boundaries at identified immigration entry and exit points and international terminals
such as international air or sea ports.

National Trunk Road (B) – Roads forming important national routes, linking national trading or economic hubs, County headquarters and other nationally important centres to each other and to the national capital or to Class A roads.

Primary Road (C) – Roads forming important regional routes, linking County headquarters or other regionally important centers, to each other and to Class A or B roads. Required to collect regional and local traffic and channel it to class A and B roads.

Secondary Road (D) – Roads linking constituency headquarters, Municipal or Town Council Centers and other towns to each other and to higher class roads. Required to collect local traffic from lower class roads and channel it to the higher class roads.

Minor Road (E)- Major Feeder Roads linking important Constituency centres to each other and meant to carry local traffic and to channel it to class D roads.


Special Purpose Roads (F) -Provide direct access to individual or group of properties , and residential areas , or to pl places of specific social or economic activity.


This story was produced by Fridah Okachi at Mtaani Radio in partnership with Code for Africa, Kenya Community Media Network and the Catholic Media Council with support from the German Cooperation as a part of the Our County Our Responsibility project.



Kamadi Amata
Kamadi Amatahttps://mtaaniradio.or.ke
I am a digital content creator with niche in Health, politics, and Human Interest Features.

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