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Showing posts from May, 2012

The Matatu, Nairobi's most notorious crime scene

As I got into a matatu, I couldn't help not having her catch my attention. She was like they are meant to be in Africa, tall, dark and striking beautiful. If you doubt me, you should have seen her smile, which is convincing enough , white and dazzling like the African ivory the East clamours. 
She looked familiar, and this was convinced by the I have seen you somewhere before  look that she gave me. This was soon confirmed as she proceeded to greet me and indulge me in talk. Teachers are so confident. We went to the same campus and she was a friend of a friend of mine, who apparently used to narrate to her stories about me. I didn't get to find out how bad the stories were. 
Our matatu soon left the bus station , and the driver bullied his way into Haile Selassie avenue. Our conversation was traded between rows, as I had instinctly taken a seat behind her, rather than next to her. This is Nairobi, there are other more important factors that determine where you seat in a matat…

The curious tragedy of Nairobi Water

Next year, Kenya will mark 50 years since it gained its indepedence. At 50 years of age, an average Kenyan citizen has 10 years to live, if they are female, or 8 more if they are male. A few years ago, they would already be dead, but we have  improved health care, standards of living and reduced HIV impact to thank for.

Not to be left out, the state of utilities and services in Kenya is wanting, like in many other countries. After years of neglect ,Kenya has proved sceptic wrong  (including yours truly ) by coming up with stunning highways, while the country''s power utility, Kenya Power, is ranked amongst the best South of the Sahara and North of the Limpopo. However, water has continued to be a big problem across the country.

Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company, Nairobi's sole water provider has not disappointed many. The firm, like a citizen at 50, has aged gracefully and might was well be dead by the time Kenya hits 60.

At one point, it is rumoured that Nairobi Water&…

Kenya Power customers suffer from Ksh 0.5 billion faulty prepaid meters

Kenya Power is a famous company in Kenya, one which draws what my colleagues in media will call "mixed reactions". While those in urban areas such as Nairobi regard Kenya Power as a very unreliable firm, I have heard of villages in rural areas where blackouts go unreported for even 3 days . To the rural people, recent electrification means that at least they get to get electricity for some days, which is better than no electricity.

In urban areas, the story is not any different. Around Imara Daima along Mombasa Road, power is mostly reliable, with blackouts been few in a week, and even at times been less than 10 in a month. In other places in the city, blackouts are a daily occurrence, and in some places, the blackouts are more than meals, counting two teas , breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Another aspect about Kenya Power is the prepaid meters, which like the firm, are equally loved and hated.

Ever since I became proud enough to start paying my own bills, I have used the Keny…