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Tragedy of filth choking Nairobi streets as City Hall runs on autopilot

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When Marcellus, a sentry in the Danish town of Elsinore in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, said “something is rotten in the state of Denmark”, he could as well have had Nairobi in mind. That is, if the physical degeneration of East Africa’s largest city is anything to go by.

From a metropolis that was once termed “the green city in the sun” due to its lushness, the capital is now a cesspit of garbage and effluent that reeks to the high heavens.

Everything is rotten in Nairobi, and it all begins with its failed leadership which, like fish, starts decaying from the head.

Last week, residents woke up to a littered city centre and most must have thought that the mess was a temporary oversight by wayward cleaners.

But, alas, the sight of overturned trash cans along Moi Avenue, Tom Mboya Street and parts of Kimathi Street have now become a daily spectacle that smells of epic failure on the part of the city fathers to get to grips with its numerous problems.

Filthy and dirty city The capital has gradually degenerated into a filthy and dirty city whose mounds of stinking garbage pose a health hazard.

Nairobi is feeling the pinch of years of neglect by the county government.

What’s rotten in Denmark? Basketfuls of decaying fish in neglected market stalls, dead dogs, sewerage discharge, broken bottles, feacal matter and rotten fruits clogging storm drains.

There are gaping potholes in the middle of most of the city’s roads. A walk down its streets and lanes requires one to have a thick skin and blocked nostrils to survive the putrid stench of urine and feaces.

A spot check by the Nation revealed a city on its deathbed. From streets to avenues and alleyways; from markets to parking lots, the situation is dire as residents, already burdened with a congested city centre, also have to weave their way through mountains of waste.

Moi Avenue takes the medal River Road, Tom Mboya Street, Moi Avenue, Haile Selassie, Landhies Road, Wakulima, Gikomba and Muthurwa markets, Machakos Country Bus Station, residential estates and informal settlements — they are all chocking on filth.

Moi Avenue takes the medal for the most unclean stretch. Two huge trash bins overflowing with garbage are deposited right next to the Kencom terminus.

Just next to this eyesore, business goes on unperturbed at shoeshine stands. The fence around the Kenya National Archives is bedecked with trash. Next to the Tom Mboya statue, a popular spot for magicians, fiery preachers and acrobats, a rainbow of waste spreads out across the walkway.

On Tom Mboya Street, the famous Ambassadeur Hotel terminus, where the Buru Buru and Embakasi-bound matatus queue for passengers, is now an official dumping site. Dirty water form pools in the broken pavements and kerbs while the walkways have been taken over by hawkers.

Right next to the bus stage and smack in front of the Tuskys Supermarket, where the Eastleigh-bound matatus are boarded, hawkers and other smallscale traders compete for space with pedestrians and

noisy, wildly driven matatus on the narrow street, creating a bedlam of urban chaos.

The wide trenches on Kenyatta Avenue just opposite the Naivas Supermarket are uncovered and filled with all kinds of waste. The wide advertising wall at the junction of Kenyatta Avenue and Kimathi Street is now a favourite dumping spot for paper, plastic and human waste.

Horrifying piles of rubbish line the pavements on Kimathi Street, with some finding their way under parked cars. At city ward reps’ parking lot near the Supreme Court, the situation is no better.

On Ronald Ngala Street, other than the exhaust fumes from the hundreds of matatus, pedestrians have to contend with mounds of rubbish from the overflowing bins and rivers of raw sewage flowing down the storm drains.

Going down River Road Going down River Road and Kirinyaga Road is a veritable nightmare. The kerbs are teeming with discarded fruit peels, torn clothes, egg shells and food remains. There is plastic waste in every imaginable corner.

One would think that, by virtue of hosting a fresh produce market, Haile Selassie Avenue would be the cleanest of the city’s thoroughfares, at least in the interest of public health. Sadly, the opposite is true. The state of the avenue drastically changes after one passes the precincts of the Central Bank of Kenya and the Co-operative Bank building.

The roundabout at the Railways terminus marks the beginning of a trail of filth that streaks down towards Wakulima Market and Coffee House, where lorries ferrying farm produce offload their cargo. The area just before the roundabout connecting Haile Selassie Avenue and Landhies Road, from Muthurwa Market to the Machakos Country Bus Station, is one huge festering cesspit.

Nonetheless, hawkers and other small-scale traders go about their work oblivious of the mess. Mr James Njoroge sells bags and shoes in the area. He says that the garbage menace has been there since he started selling at the market three years ago.

‘We are used to garbage’ “We are used to the garbage now. The county has been clearing it at least once a week but it has not done so since the beginning of the year,” he said.

By Nation


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Certified Homes Ltd Free Christmas & New Year Holiday Gifts

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www.certifiedhomes.co.ke


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Kenyan Minting Money From Selling Muratina in UK

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A Kenyan man is minting money in the UK by brewing and selling the locally produced alcoholic drink, Muratina.

The brew is largely illegal in Kenya, however, for King’ori Wambaki, the Kikuyu traditional drink has made him a household name in Cheshunt, UK.

Wambaki has spent over 27 years in England, shifting from studies, working for foreigners and unveiling his own business.

He packages the drink, dubbed Muratelia, as wine spiced with honey. It contains 12 percent alcohol and is sold to customers under the age of 35.

a
King’Ori Wambaki (right) enjoys his drink. On the left is a fashion icon marketing a branded Muratelia bag
COURTESY

Muratelia is sold at between £10 (Ksh 1,491) and £25 (Ksh 3,727) depending on whether it’s sold on counters, retail shops, or restaurants.

“Cheshunt is located outside London. We used ingredients that are available here in the UK as we have not yet reached a point where we can import products from Kenya.

“The business provides income better than what I can earn while being employed, Wambaki who hails from Othaya, Nyeri stated while speaking with a local daily.

He disclosed that he made in-depth research and business plans on how to market his product. It has also been incorporated in the modeling and fashion industry through branded bags and clothes.

He has also created employment for the youth in the UK as he owns three restaurants and four shops.

What worked for him was that he had no competition as the drink was a new entity in the UK market. Wambaki is keen on expanding his business and the entrepreneur targets the local Kenyan market.

He said that he had applied for a business permit and license in Kenya, seeking to introduce his upgraded brand.

“The whites love it despite it being a Kenyan drink. In June we may start producing it in Kenya,” he added.

According to his LinkedIn page, the economist holds a Master of Science in Finance and Management and a Bachelor of Science in Economics.

a
A bottle of Muratelia in an advert posted on the company’s website
MURATINA
-Kenyans.co.ke


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My uncle turned me into a sex pet after mum’s death

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When her mother died in 2016, Shanice (not her real name), then aged 15, was left under the care of her grandmother. Her uncle, however, took advantage of the void left in her life to turn her into a sex toy.

Such was the strangeness of life that Shanice came face-to-face with, where a man who should have assumed the role of responsible care for his late sister’s daughter, turned into a monster to devour her chastity.

She says if her mother was still alive, she would have pursued her education to actualise her dream of becoming a clinical nurse and eventually venture into politics to gain a platform to defend the poor.

“But it was not designed to be so…I do not know whether it was God’s wish that it be so… But as a believer whose faith is hinged on the principle that everything happens with a purpose, I have learnt to appreciate my situation today as I hustle for livelihood in casual employments to bring up my three-year-old baby girl,” she tells Nation at her home village in Kabati, Murang’a County.

She has fond memories of her late mum and very ill thoughts of men in their blanket legion.

“Though poor, my mother used to struggle for me and would pay my school fees. We stood together in all our tribulations…going to bed hungry in the belief that I would one day get employed and support her…” she reminisces. “When we buried my mother, a week after her death, life took some very strange turns for me…One of the people who wanted to turn me into his sex toy was my mother’s elder brother who was, and still is a pastor!” she says.

She conceded once, twice, thrice and the shame and guilt tore into her conscience.

“I dropped out of school since I was no longer the bubbling Shanice with hope for a better tomorrow. A girl who had forcibly surrendered her chastity to her dead mom’s brother only deserved to die and die I must,” she tells of how she attempted to commit suicide, but her grandmother rescued her.

To escape the shame, in December 2016, Shanice decided to leave the village for Thika town. “With no place to call home and with my hunger pangs to satiate, I became a sex worker. A naïve one at that who conceived in January 2017, and again the guts I had to keep on living left me,” she says.

This time round, she unsuccessfully attempted suicide for a second time.

“I attempted to throw myself on the way of a speeding lorry along Thika Road but the driver veered off the road, crashing on the guardrails. He lost his life,” she recalls.

On her way to take a jump into Chania River a week later, she was arrested for being a vagabond, arraigned and placed under the children’s department for care owing to her condition.

It is the department that solicited for her care at the Shallom Coventry where on October 12, 2017, she delivered her baby. “Seeing my small angel gave me hope…I felt the urge to raise my child and give her the best,” she says.

Today, Shanice is employed at a supermarket in Thika and is grateful that she has an opportunity to raise her daughter and bring meaning to her life.

“I choose to forgive, but not forget, what my uncle did to me,” she concludes.

By nation.africa


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