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Nairobi Metropolitan

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Restoring Nairobi and its environs to its city in the sun fame is one of the big dreams  the Nairobi Metropolitan Ministry has for the Capital City. This will be achieved by improving transport through better roads and commuter trains; security through suveillance cameras and reducing the cost of living by making other metro towns attractive to city workers


Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city and East Africa’s business and air trans- port hub, is one of Africa’s big cities. Its Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) is among the busiest on the continent, and the city hosts offices of a number of United Nations agencies’ as well as leading multi-nationals.

With this raised profile, Nairobi is strengthening its status. It has risen in a single century from an uninhabited swampland to a thriving modern capital. Modern Nairobi is still the safari capital of Africa and the current world trends have quickly caught up with the city.

Nairobi is a city that never seems to sleep, although its growth rate is estimated at 7 per cent, much slower than Nakuru’s which is at 13 per cent. Some of the challenges the city is tackling include improving security, reducing traffic congestion and increasing parking spaces.

Nairobi Metropolitan Region

It is projected that by the year 2030, Nairobi alone will have a population of about 6.5 million people and the greater Nairobi Metropolitan Region (NMR) approximately 12 million people. The NMR is a far greater and ambitious strategic move by the Government in its Spatial Planning and Urban Rejuvenation. The region extends over 32,000 square kilometres and include the following local authorities grouped as follows:

Core Nairobi: Comprising the City Council of Nairobi

The Northern Metro comprises the municipalities of Kiambu, Limuru, Ruiru, Thika, Karuri and Kikuyu.

The Southern Metro comprising the Town Council of Kajiado and the County Council of Olkejuado.

The Eastern Metro comprising the Town Council of Tala/Kangundo, Municipal Council of Machakos, the Municipal Council of Mavoko, and the County Council of Masaku.

Nairobi Metro 2030 Plan

The Nairobi Metro is a highly urbanised region in Kenya and commands over 60 per cent of the country’s Gross Domes- tic Product (GDP). Nairobi Metro 2030 Plan projects that by 2030 Kenya will be predominantly urban, with 61.5 per cent of the population living in urban areas.

The Government requires Kshs227 billion to de-congest the city by developing a mass-rapid transit system for the Nairobi Metropolitan Region aimed at reducing traffic by integrating a number of transport systems, including a heavy rail transit, light rail transit and a bus rapid transit.

It is proposed that the road network should comprise orbital and radical corridors with central business district orbital being upgraded from six to eight lanes with exclusive bus rapid system lanes, pedestrian footpaths, service roads and off streets parking facilities.

Urban centres

Apart from Nairobi, there are 23 urban centres in the NMR, nine in the Northern circuit, four in the Eastern and 10 in the Southern Metro. Some of the urban centres which have grown at phenomenally high rates are Juja at 21.01 per cent, Mavoko (17.76 per cent) and Kitengela (20.09 per cent). The Nairobi Metropolitan will help to rationalise the growth of urban centres.

Urban areas are the engines of Kenya’s economic growth and they provide essential services that have spillover benefits to people outside these local authority boundaries.

As Kenya’s economy becomes more service-oriented and less dominated  by agricultural production, growth will be even more dependent on good urban management.

It is estimated that urban areas will account for 45 per cent of the population, or 16.5 million people by 2015 and 54 per cent of the population, or 23.6 million people by 2030. The urban transition in Kenya will play an important role in determining the country’s growth prospects and social stability. Urban services are currently provided by local authorities. However, the Urban and Cities Act 2011 re-centralises responsibility for urban functions to county governments, breaking the tradition of semi-autonomous local government.

Nairobi and Mombasa will be run  as city counties. All other urban areas will be run and managed either by 116 unincorporated town committees or directly by the county.

The Ministry of Nairobi Metropolitan faces many challenges in building a robust city that is internationally competitive, dynamic and has an inclusive economy. It also needs to develop a world-class infrastructure and enhance linkages and accessibility to national regional and global markets. The transformation of the region will depend to a large extent on the establishment of well-resourced institutions with capacity to plan and implement  an integrated infrastructure programme, and coordinated social and economic development within the Nairobi Metropolitan Region (NMR).

The Nairobi Metropolitan Ministry was allocated Sh1.4 billion in the 2010/11 budget, out of which Ksh 1.2 billion is exclusively dedicated to urban development.

Targeted reforms

The Ministry has joined the growing number of public offices that are carrying out reforms through the Rapid Results Initiative (RRI). RRI is a government programme aimed at improving service delivery in public institutions. The initiative will enable the ministry to focus on major issues of public concern

Safety and security

The Ministry has undertaken short-term interventions to implement one of the key result areas, which is ensuring a safe, secure and prosperous NMR through sustained reduction in crime and other adverse incidences including disasters.

Street lighting

On this front, the Ministry has installed street- lights on the Kapenguria Road that connects Uthiru to Lower Kabete in Kikuyu and on Mbagathi Way on the fringes of the CBD. The Ministry has also installed street lights on Gitanga, Othaya, Oloitoktok, Garden Estate/Balozi / Hardrock/Kiambu, Kitengela (Lang’ata) and Ambira (Kamukunji) roads.

Disaster preparedness

The Ministry has bought five ambulances, four fire-fighting Land Rovers and accessories, which it distributed to the Machakos Municipal Council, Thika Municipal Council, Thika County Council, Kikuyu Town Council and Kangundo Town Council.

The Government further received a Project Preparation Advance (PPA) from the International Development Association (IDA), and intends to use some of it under the contract for consultancy services for the Preparation of a Disaster Preparedness and Response System within the Nairobi Metropolitan Region.

The tasks to be carried out will include:

  1. Specific hazard mapping and vulnerability conditions in the Nairobi Metropolitan Region
  2. Prepare a preparedness and response plan
  3. Review and evaluate the suit- ability of the studies earlier undertaken and their recommendations .
  4. Prepare a disaster inventory report, for all the equipment and facilities that currently exist and those that are required, to ensure optimal capacity for the metro region
  5. Identify and design the infra- structure required to ensure optimal capacity for the metro region
  6. Prepare cost estimates for the required investment and infra- structure under (d) and (e) above
  7. Identify capacity needs of the metropolitan local authorities and agencies, in regard to disaster preparedness to enhance security and safety within the region
  8. Prepare economic justification of investment by either cost benefit analysis, or as approved by the employ
  9. The consultant will prepare tender documents, including the Bills of Quantities, for the pro- posed goods and works in line with procurement guidelines of the World Bank.
  10. Prepare monthly reports or as the client may periodically demand.
  11. Prepare environmental assessments/environmental management plans for the proposed investments and the disaster management strategic plan

Services Improvement Project  

The Government will invest Kshs28 billion ($330 million) in this project to improve key services. The project funding includes Kshs25.5 billion ($300 million) approved by the World Bank. The Bank has also approved another Kshs50 billion for water and roads projects that will give an estimated three million Kenyans access to improved water and sanitation services.

The development objective of the Nairobi Metropolitan Services Improvement Project is to strengthen urban services and infrastructure in the NMR. The project has four components:

  • Institutional reform and planning to help existing local authorities within the NMR.
  • Local government  infrastructure and services to finance on a grant basis priority urban infrastructure in 13 selected urban areas in the NMR.
  • Metropolitan   infrastructure and services to provide large- scale metropolitan infrastructure in the areas of solid waste, transport, and sewerage services.
  • Project management, monitoring and evaluation will finance the management activities associated with project implementation, including establishing and implementing a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation system, and training implementing agencies in environmental and social management.


The current household size for NMR  is 3.4 million. However, with the estimated economic growth at about 15 per cent, coupled with predicted world-class health infrastructure and livelihood standards and facilities, it is assumed that the household size will increase to four million. This may also be attributed to the existing large number of single member households in the NMR, due to various pull factors such as work, education etc.

To counter any further sprawl of urban population into slums and squatters and to provide quality housing to all and improve the exist- ing quality of living standards in the NMR, an implementation framework will be developed to streamline smooth access to land and housing for all Kenyans.


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