Traveling from Jomo Kenyatta International post a two year plus covid enforced separation, reminds the visitor that Beijing has been rather busy with an awful lot of concrete. Sixteen point eight miles of elevated elegant dual carriageway delicately connect the airport with the capital Nairobi and for a toll, pre-registered vehicles can gracefully rise above the Nairobi traffic carnage and reduce the city to airport travel time to around fifteen minute from anything up to three hours.
To date, the elevated beltways remain remarkably void of user traffic despite the beckoning neon of the plentiful toll booths. Preferring to take their chances and keep costs low, the majority of the ageing vehicles stick to the pot hole ridden six laner below, occupying the few vacated spaces made by those that can afford the toll demonstrating the best of trickle down economics in action; Besides Matatu would only struggle with the ramps. China of course has generously signed a PPP declaring that the China Road and Bridge Company will recoup their investment after only twenty-seven years of tolls transferring what’s left to the Kenyan government. (*)
Our taxi opted for economy and took the down to earth freeway whilst narrowly avoiding a heard of Zebra that had wandered post dusk roadside from a nearby national park.
Matatu: basic public mini bus service of questionable quality
PPP: public private partnership
(*) South China Morning Post August 2022
These writings are usually penned whilst in the field working with our friends who live and work in Kibera and it is hoped that they bring insight, understanding and a provocation that the status-quo is unacceptable. Please feel free to unsubscribe or share as appropriate. Any opinions implied or expressed are my own and names may have been changed for the sake of privacy.