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Old August 21st, 2009, 07:05 AM   #1
desert burner
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Northern & Eastern Bypass | Nairobi | U/C

Prime Minister Raila Odinga is juggling three balls in the air and if he lets one fall, he could be political minced-meat for his rivals in the 2012 presidential election.
He could be the proverbial politician who was given rope to hang himself and did not disappoint. He could also emerge victor and legitimate "owner" of a new Kenya into whose hands history has thrust the opportunity to help deliver. In 2003 Raila, who played a leading role in getting President Kibaki elected, was Roads minister and supervised the demolition of palatial buildings standing on land initially set aside for by-passes in Nairobi.
He did it with gusto, but it soon appeared to be another addition to Kenya’s list of white elephant projects.
In the 2007 campaigns against Kibaki, the demolitions came to haunt him — but he argued they had to go down to pave way for a better face of Kenya’s capital.
Ambitious projects
But today (Friday), he will proudly stand beside Kibaki as he officially inaugurates the Sh8.5 billion Eastern and Northern bypasses at the junction of Kangundo and Ruai roads opposite the Administration Police College, Embakasi, Nairobi.
But the question is: Will he pull through with what is on his hands? The President has cast him as senior to Cabinet members except himself.
But Raila says he is ready to pay the political price of helping change Kenya, arguing the task at hand was more beneficial to Kenya. On Wednesday evening he told KTN that issues of conservation "must not be politicised".
"I have been a victim of propaganda of vested interest. Kenya is more important than an individual. If I am to pay a price to conserve the environment so let it be."
"Sometimes governments are forced to take unpopular decisions that may force it out of power… it has been done in the Amazons in Malaysia and several other countries.
"We have discussed as a Government, at the Cabinet and with the President. It is not Raila’s agenda," he said.
"Statements have been made that I am a turncoat… I have changed positions. No. We agreed that people move from the Mau Forest and be compensated. Those with title deeds will be compensated."
Raila OdingaBut still he has the three balls to juggle — and the exercise could make or break him. He has after all been fighting to explain to his anti-Kibaki supporters that he is working closely with him for the sake of uniting and holding the country together.
The first ball is overseeing ambitious and yet sensitive multi-million projects. Their successful execution is his personal triumph given that Kibaki bolstered his position.
If this falls, President Kibaki will have achieved two goals; his display of willingness to let Raila push the wheel of development, but still share the fruit of success and use it to rebuild his legacy, which ails from the aftertaste of post-election violence.
But if the four-year programmes, among them the 18 projects for which the Cabinet yesterday approved Sh250 billion over a period of eight years fail, his rivals will use this to demonstrate that he is a fast talker, but slow delivery. In addition, Kibaki will have sent the message he gave Raila the room to work, but he squandered the opportunity.
Ministers’ goodwill
This is tricky for Raila because the success of the programmes would depend on the goodwill of other Cabinet ministers and movers of government whom the National Accord gave him powers to supervise and coordinate their operations.
They include the President and the other leaders who just a few months ago would not hear him out when he lay claim to the office of Leader of Government Business in Parliament. Or even when he insisted in public he came first before the Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka. The other side of Government sneered at him and told him he was daydreaming.
Raila’s second ball in the air is his grassroots popularity, especially in the Rift Valley where he was handed the task of clearing the swathes of forests land parcelled out to peasants and the mighty and moneyed.
Critics argue that if Raila mishandles this, in 2012 he will be told, as is the case now, he is turning against the same people who voted, and probably died for him. Some Rift Valley leaders, whose constituents incidentally stand to lose the most if degradation of Mau continues, have for example began accusing him of betraying them and being drunk with power.
"I urge the Prime Minister to do all he can to reclaim the forest illegally lost to private individuals and developers," Kibaki said on Wednesday as he bestowed on Raila the difficult but yet potentially rewarding assignment.
Building on the sweeping mandate Kibaki added: "I call upon Kenyans support this effort to ensure the country has enough rain and food."
The flipside of this is that if the programme succeeds, Raila could get the connection he needs with the ordinary people, in line with his 2007 election — that his would not be a repair, but overhaul of the country.
But in private, some of his supporters think that even though Kibaki has "certainly warmed" up to Raila, and had been with him recently in many joint functions, the President is letting Raila do the spadework then he reaps the fruits.
Others argue that Raila by his nature is aggressive and ambitious, and when given an inch he could take a mile. This group argues that the PM is where he wanted after missing State House.
Immense powers
In this corner, he is able to turn the country around as much as he would, through for example irrigation, water distribution, as well as agricultural, employment and youth development programmes — whose execution he will now coordinate and supervise.
The third ball Raila has to juggle along with the "brutal" side of his office is enforcing unfavourable Government and Cabinet programmes, such as his and Kibaki’s preferred mode of trying post-election suspects without killing or dividing his Orange Democratic Party — easily Kenya’s most organised and cohesive party during the campaigns. If he loses it, as some argue, he could by 2012 end up a giant standing on mosquito feet.
Raila argues, "I have been trying to explain to people and to dialogue with them that I do not mean bad… I mean well."
But either way his friends and enemies will be watching his juggling — each saying a different prayer.

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Old August 22nd, 2009, 06:10 AM   #2
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Kibaki commissions work on city bypasses

President Kibaki commissioned construction of bypasses to ease traffic on Nairobi roads.
The President said the Eastern and Northern bypasses would cost Sh8.5 billion.
He, however, expressed disappointment with some State parastatals and companies for contributing to road damage by failing to enforce the law. He singled out Kenya Pipeline Company and cargo companies for clearing overloaded trucks ferrying goods from Mombasa port.
"These are Government institutions that cannot escape responsibility for overloaded vehicles originating from their premises," said Kibaki, yesterday.
He directed ministries of Roads, Transport and Energy to ensure cargo trucks complied with axle-weight limits.
New transport
He said new roads must have walkways and a section for cyclists. He said heavy commercial vehicles would be re-routed to alternative roads outside the city centre.
He challenged planners to come up with new ideas on how to address traffic congestion in urban centres.
Kibaki said the African Development Bank had agreed to finance a study to determine the best public transport system in Nairobi.
He was accompanied by Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and Roads Minister Franklin Bett.
Kalonzo commended the Chinese Government for supporting road construction and other projects in the country.
Bett said there are plans to launch new buses with a 160 to 240-passenger capacity to ease traffic.
"We have issued instructions to road constructors in the city to create points where the special buses will be dropping and picking passengers," he said.
The minister said all structures in areas earmarked for road expansion would be pulled down.
The construction of bypasses is being funded by the Chinese Government, which will foot 85 per cent of the total cost.
Chinese Ambassador Deng Hong Bo said his government would ensure quality work.
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Old August 23rd, 2009, 08:17 PM   #3
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Yes, finally! After seven years of false starts (mostly occassioned by politics) we see real prospects. The most encouraging part for me is that the contract went to a Chinese campany and not one of our own dubious companies like Hayer Bishan, Mugoya or Kirinyaga.

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President Kibaki commissioned construction of bypasses to ease traffic on Nairobi roads.
The President said the Eastern and Northern bypasses would cost Sh8.5 billion.
He, however, expressed disappointment with some State parastatals and companies for contributing to road damage by failing to enforce the law. He singled out Kenya Pipeline Company and cargo companies for clearing overloaded trucks ferrying goods from Mombasa port.
"These are Government institutions that cannot escape responsibility for overloaded vehicles originating from their premises," said Kibaki, yesterday.
He directed ministries of Roads, Transport and Energy to ensure cargo trucks complied with axle-weight limits.
New transport
He said new roads must have walkways and a section for cyclists. He said heavy commercial vehicles would be re-routed to alternative roads outside the city centre.
He challenged planners to come up with new ideas on how to address traffic congestion in urban centres.
Kibaki said the African Development Bank had agreed to finance a study to determine the best public transport system in Nairobi.
He was accompanied by Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and Roads Minister Franklin Bett.
Kalonzo commended the Chinese Government for supporting road construction and other projects in the country.
Bett said there are plans to launch new buses with a 160 to 240-passenger capacity to ease traffic.
"We have issued instructions to road constructors in the city to create points where the special buses will be dropping and picking passengers," he said.
The minister said all structures in areas earmarked for road expansion would be pulled down.
The construction of bypasses is being funded by the Chinese Government, which will foot 85 per cent of the total cost.
Chinese Ambassador Deng Hong Bo said his government would ensure quality work.
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Old August 23rd, 2009, 09:51 PM   #4
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Especially Kirinyaga.
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Old August 24th, 2009, 02:05 PM   #5
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Sorry once again for the grainy newspaper pics but its the only way I could get renders for the project.

New junction for Mombasa road and North airport road (@ city cabanas).

image hosted on flickr
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Old August 24th, 2009, 02:14 PM   #6
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Old August 24th, 2009, 02:22 PM   #7
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By-pass map.

image hosted on flickr
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Old August 25th, 2009, 04:59 AM   #8
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I wonder why they decided to call them by-passes! The only one I can consider a by-pass is the Southern By-pass. The others simply lead into and out of Nairobi.


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By-pass map.

image hosted on flickr
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Old August 25th, 2009, 05:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenguy View Post
Sorry once again for the grainy newspaper pics but its the only way I could get renders for the project.

New junction for Mombasa road and North airport road (@ city cabanas).

image hosted on flickr
This is long overdue.that junction is way too dangerous.
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Old August 25th, 2009, 09:11 PM   #10
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This is long overdue.that junction is way too dangerous.
I dont even know how guys cross that junction onto MSA road daily without having your car bashed or knocking someone especially when the traffic cops are not around.

Note the N.airport road looks like it will be converted to a four lane dual carriageway. Good thing given that the suburbs around Embakasi served by this road eg. Nyayo Embakasi are expanding.
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Old August 25th, 2009, 09:23 PM   #11
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I wonder why they decided to call them by-passes! The only one I can consider a by-pass is the Southern By-pass. The others simply lead into and out of Nairobi.
Well, they were planned in the 70's when they actually went around the built up area. Then came the Moi years...We are building them nearly 30 years too late.
(that would be like vision 2030 if we started today).
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Old October 7th, 2009, 08:29 AM   #12
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I wonder why they decided to call them by-passes! The only one I can consider a by-pass is the Southern By-pass. The others simply lead into and out of Nairobi.
I think the point is to by pass the city center which causes all the congestion and traffic.
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Old October 19th, 2009, 09:52 AM   #13
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Are these new bypasses going to be freeway grade or are they going to be regular roads?
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Old October 20th, 2009, 08:13 PM   #14
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Are these new bypasses going to be freeway grade or are they going to be regular roads?
Both, depending on traffic densities.
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 08:45 AM   #15
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I got this from the KURA(Kenyan Urban Roads Authority) website.

Proposed Design for the first 5 KM of the Eastern bypass.

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Old August 22nd, 2010, 08:48 AM   #16
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Old August 23rd, 2010, 03:39 AM   #17
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these guys are seriously not joking around!!!

they are serious about seeing these projects through

maybe a new age of responsibility in government??? i shud stop building castles in the air
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Old August 23rd, 2010, 09:57 AM   #18
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these guys are seriously not joking around!!!

they are serious about seeing these projects through

maybe a new age of responsibility in government??? i shud stop building castles in the air
I think there consensus that we all need good roads and if it is the government which charged with that responsibility and there is goodwill why not? That is what is showing, plus the average citizen knows his/her rights and so can complain if they are not provided, so this helps.

But the main thing I think is a new spirit to move forward which is being felt by everyone. Seriously, if we were at par with South Korea or better at independence, how can it be that we are nolonger comparable? And this is just due to may be bad leadership and corruption? Bad leadership is all to blame because even corruption only thrives where there is bad leadership. Lets move forward and build now for future generations. Otherwise we'll be an island of underdevelopment. Kenya must and should remain as the economic powerhouse and social development and without such concerted and deliberate efforts to move forward we cannot achieve that. Bravo Kenya!! More and more roads....into our homes, villages, deserts, etc because we are all Kenyans.
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Old August 25th, 2010, 05:46 AM   #19
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Quote:
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these guys are seriously not joking around!!!

they are serious about seeing these projects through

maybe a new age of responsibility in government??? i shud stop building castles in the air
Not to absolve the gov't of resposibility but,by and large,we seem to come short on maintenance culture.Look at some places and find people with money don't keep their places in top shape,takataka is left in some mid tier estates and there's cutting corners to the point buildings zinaporomoka.In short i find it hard to heap all blame on gov't as there's also greed and irresponsiblity elsewhere.There are good reasons why other countries require you to trim your yard,paint or repair buidings and reasons they have neighborhood associations.The goal of making nrb a world class metro seems a big joke as its only a gov't project with no neighbourhood commitees,home owners,businesses and builders involved to ensure all areas are up to par.Yes there's irresponsibility in gov't but also individuals need to act like we're in this together-it is your taxes and quality of life after all
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Old September 29th, 2010, 08:28 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Amboseli Daima View Post
Not to absolve the gov't of resposibility but,by and large,we seem to come short on maintenance culture.Look at some places and find people with money don't keep their places in top shape,takataka is left in some mid tier estates and there's cutting corners to the point buildings zinaporomoka.In short i find it hard to heap all blame on gov't as there's also greed and irresponsiblity elsewhere.There are good reasons why other countries require you to trim your yard,paint or repair buidings and reasons they have neighborhood associations.The goal of making nrb a world class metro seems a big joke as its only a gov't project with no neighbourhood commitees,home owners,businesses and builders involved to ensure all areas are up to par.Yes there's irresponsibility in gov't but also individuals need to act like we're in this together-it is your taxes and quality of life after all

Any new pictures of this important by-pass? I am sure they must have moved quite a bit since we last got updates. Can't wait to see the trucks going round the city rather than through it in the next few months? what about the eastern by-pass? they are joined into one at some point.
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