Is affordable housing in Nairobi a myth?

In Kenya, the yawning gap between demand for housing and its supply continues to grow. The estimated demand in urban areas for housing is approximately 150,000 units a year. The current supply is about 30,000 units.  The gap between supply and demand is felt more keenly in the lower income housing market. Less than 20% … Continued

Reflecting on Nairobi’s heritage

Residents of Nairobi appreciate the city for its present-day attributes but not so much for its history. The city, built on a swamp, began in 1899 as a railway depot and camp during the construction of the Mombasa-Kampala railway.  By the early 1900s, Nairobi was a bustling town and eventually became the colonial administrative capital … Continued

Come dance with me

The moment the Sarakasi dancers and acrobats appear on stage, one feels their pulsating, vibrant energy. The dancers bound onto the stage exuding graceful athleticism often associated with world-class acts like Cirque du Soleil, yet exhibiting a uniqueness that has come to be recognized as the Sarakasi (which means “circus or acrobatics” in Kiswahili) dance … Continued

Can recycling help Nairobi cut its waste?

Solid waste management is Nairobi’s most visible environmental challenge. Rubbish heaps piled high with paper, plastics and other waste are an everyday feature of the city’s landscape. Dirty, torn plastic bags are seen wedged stubbornly into roadside features such as drainage, pavements and shrubbery in poor and more affluent areas alike. With a growing population, … Continued

Examining Nairobi’s split personality

Walking through certain parts of Nairobi, one is struck by the formal elements that highlight the city’s conscious march towards becoming a “world-class city.” Images of the formal or “modernity,” such as the development of public commuter rail, shopping malls with mega supermarkets and organic food outlets, and tall, all-glass skyscrapers that house multinational corporations … Continued