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Nairobi Metro Region Projects and construction in the Nairobi Metropolitan Region



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Old May 1st, 2012, 11:01 AM   #1
Arzedu
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Wink Ideas towards solving traffic crisis in Nairobi

My Ideos smartphone told me blithely that it should take me exactly 16 minutes as I navigated the 12km distance between my Chiromo Rd workplace and my residence in South B. It could not have been more wrong.

Instead, I spent an unbelievable 4 hours, stuck in a horrendous traffic jam on Monday evening. I left Westlands at 6pm and arrived in South B at 10pm. Howzat for speed, folks? I imagined someone could have departed JKIA at the time I left for home, collected a parcel from Addis and be back in time to see me sweating it out on the A104!



In the 2 hours I spent between Museum Hill interchange and University Way roundabout, I realized that this transport problem in Nairobi is a national crisis, especially when I saw tourists madly hopping from their cars and desperately stopping passing motorcyclists meandering through the gridlock, presumably to ferry them to JKIA. I wonder how many got to board their flights in time.


Amazingly, the motorists watched as the traffic cops made a series of comical errors on the road. At one point, they asked a trucker to drive his Actros and negotiate the University Way roundabout, only for him to be blocked by cars released from another point by yet another cop. The Actros got stuck snap in the middle, blocking the whole road. This lasted an hour.


I think a solution is at hand: why not use some of the funds set aside for the Southern bypass to construct overpasses at the 5 roundabouts on Mombasa Rd/Uhuru Highway that are the primary causes of the loss of KSh 50m daily in Nairobi? We can leave the rest of the A104 the way it is.



This issue is a national emergency (would have been worse if I had missed out on the noisy neighbours drubbing their uppity rivals).
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Old May 1st, 2012, 01:30 PM   #2
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Southern bypass is equally as deserving for i believe most of the traffic in uhuru highway had no business being there. The solution unfortunately has to be thika road type;complete overhaul. Were we to just remove the roundabouts for now, two years down the line we may have to address the issue of capacity.
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Old May 1st, 2012, 02:09 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arzedu View Post
My Ideos smartphone told me blithely that it should take me exactly 16 minutes as I navigated the 12km distance between my Chiromo Rd workplace and my residence in South B. It could not have been more wrong.

Instead, I spent an unbelievable 4 hours, stuck in a horrendous traffic jam on Monday evening. I left Westlands at 6pm and arrived in South B at 10pm. Howzat for speed, folks? I imagined someone could have departed JKIA at the time I left for home, collected a parcel from Addis and be back in time to see me sweating it out on the A104!



In the 2 hours I spent between Museum Hill interchange and University Way roundabout, I realized that this transport problem in Nairobi is a national crisis, especially when I saw tourists madly hopping from their cars and desperately stopping passing motorcyclists meandering through the gridlock, presumably to ferry them to JKIA. I wonder how many got to board their flights in time.


Amazingly, the motorists watched as the traffic cops made a series of comical errors on the road. At one point, they asked a trucker to drive his Actros and negotiate the University Way roundabout, only for him to be blocked by cars released from another point by yet another cop. The Actros got stuck snap in the middle, blocking the whole road. This lasted an hour.


I think a solution is at hand: why not use some of the funds set aside for the Southern bypass to construct overpasses at the 5 roundabouts on Mombasa Rd/Uhuru Highway that are the primary causes of the loss of KSh 50m daily in Nairobi? We can leave the rest of the A104 the way it is.



This issue is a national emergency (would have been worse if I had missed out on the noisy neighbours drubbing their uppity rivals).
It takes me about 15-20 min max to drive to work ...about 16miles(approx 32km) daily.Its actually when i flew out that i realized how short some distances in kenya are.Nikiwa Kenya i used to feel like distance btwn south c and westi was long yet its a mere 12km.This is coz of the traffic jam.

My solution would be to turn this roads into 'super highways';-
1.Mombasa road mpaka machakos
2.uhuru highway mpaka limuru/naivasha
3.langata road to past kiserian...towards magadi
4.jogoo road kagundo

To simplify it all roads leading away from nairobi should be turned into 4 lane highways for a distance not less than 50 km.

We've been playing catch up when it comes to infrastructure development istead of the other way whereby development follows infrustructure.can imagyn big towns like rongai kiserian athi river being served by such roads.No wonder nairobi is so congested.If u live less than 7km from cbd and take over an hour kufika tao its sad.Its time things changed,and at a quick rate.hope it wont take us another 10years kupata thika road ingine!A 50 km superhighway can be completed in less than two years with proper funding strict procurement and implimentation
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Old May 1st, 2012, 05:00 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Dhuks View Post
Southern bypass is equally as deserving for i believe most of the traffic in uhuru highway had no business being there. The solution unfortunately has to be thika road type;complete overhaul. Were we to just remove the roundabouts for now, two years down the line we may have to address the issue of capacity.
I dont believe so. The Southern bypass is mainly designed to re-route transit traffic away from the CBD as one mechanism of de-congesting the city. Without any doubt at all, the Mombasa-Malaba artery is the most important road in the country.

Not only does it evacuate traffic from Mombasa to almost the entire country (in addition to the eastern and central Africa regions), it is the "point of entry" for those investors wishing to see what Kenya has to offer (as they are driven from JKIA to the city). If you get your important visitors all sweating and nervous, seeing the horrific traffic jams, they will just do the maths: that about half of their costs of production (for their various investments) will be spent on transport.

That is why it is incomprehensible to me that GoK decided to do a superhighway on Thika Rd (a very valid argument, seeing all the businesses in the eastern and central regions of the country) and decided to do zilch about the super-important Mombasa Rd.

We were led to believe in 2007 that the rehabilitation of Msa Rd by the Chinese would include an additional lane on both sides and elimination of the roundabouts (read the President's speech as he launched the project, it is all there). At a cost then of KSh 100m per km, and considering the fact that this was just basically resealing of the road, I believed then. In the end, no additional lane, no removal of these odious traffic circles.

We need to save ourselves: we are losing KSh 50m daily in wasted resources and productivity, according to KIPPRA studies. That is an eye-popping KSh 18bn annually! In my opinion, 70% of this loss can be traced to Msa Rd, and this is close to what we are spending on the Southern bypass.

There is need for a radical approach in traffic management in Kenya. As we ruminate on other ideas, I also hope that the itchy-finger traffic cops will be finally removed from our roads, and we get rid of the dozens of unnecessary police road-blocks (read "toll stations") on our roads. They interfere with smooth flow of traffic. And about the Mlolongo weighbridge and its funny location: it is comical seeing how heavily laden trucks contort as they try and turn to their side to be weighed - I don't know whether this ghastly design was deliberate or a comic-relief "moment"!
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Old May 1st, 2012, 06:49 PM   #5
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Enemy # 1 are the archaic things called "Round A Bouts" .... Ngoa hii taka taka and we dont even have to worry about building an elevated hihgway. I have been on many expressways and hii shetani inaitwa "round a bout" does not exist. Add 2 more lanes on each side of the highways and the traffic nonsense will be gone. Matatus should also be abolished.
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Old May 1st, 2012, 07:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arzedu View Post
I dont believe so. The Southern bypass is mainly designed to re-route transit traffic away from the CBD as one mechanism of de-congesting the city. Without any doubt at all, the Mombasa-Malaba artery is the most important road in the country.

Not only does it evacuate traffic from Mombasa to almost the entire country (in addition to the eastern and central Africa regions), it is the "point of entry" for those investors wishing to see what Kenya has to offer (as they are driven from JKIA to the city). If you get your important visitors all sweating and nervous, seeing the horrific traffic jams, they will just do the maths: that about half of their costs of production (for their various investments) will be spent on transport.

That is why it is incomprehensible to me that GoK decided to do a superhighway on Thika Rd (a very valid argument, seeing all the businesses in the eastern and central regions of the country) and decided to do zilch about the super-important Mombasa Rd.

We were led to believe in 2007 that the rehabilitation of Msa Rd by the Chinese would include an additional lane on both sides and elimination of the roundabouts (read the President's speech as he launched the project, it is all there). At a cost then of KSh 100m per km, and considering the fact that this was just basically resealing of the road, I believed then. In the end, no additional lane, no removal of these odious traffic circles)
If you have used the northern bypass you will realise the southern bypass is quite important; it will massively decongest uhuru highway. There is an ongoing feasibility study on exactly what you are proposing on uhuru highway.
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Last edited by Dhuks; May 2nd, 2012 at 02:45 AM.
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Old May 1st, 2012, 08:10 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Dhuks View Post
If you have used the northern bypass you will realise the eastern bypass is quite important; it will massively decongest uhuru highway. There is an ongoing impact assessment study on exactly what you are proposing on uhuru highway.
I still dont know why they did not dual all the bypasses...it is inevitable so why wait and do it later?? Traffic lights and round abouts cause traffic jams....There still needs to be a highway, elevated or not from JKIA to past westlands with no stops at all. Well plus the trains and BRT.
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Old May 1st, 2012, 09:19 PM   #8
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I still dont know why they did not dual all the bypasses...it is inevitable so why wait and do it later?? Traffic lights and round abouts cause traffic jams....There still needs to be a highway, elevated or not from JKIA to past westlands with no stops at all. Well plus the trains and BRT.
Agreed about dialing these important arteries!

Can anyone suggest a smart traffic management system, one that, for instance, can accurate determine choke points and provide real time solutions?

Should such services be outsourced?
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Old May 2nd, 2012, 03:10 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Arzedu View Post
Agreed about dialing these important arteries!

Can anyone suggest a smart traffic management system, one that, for instance, can accurate determine choke points and provide real time solutions?

Should such services be outsourced?
Uhuru highway is one choke point as a whole. I always wonder why they cannot have multiple financiers for the overpasses on Uhuru highway; we can live with safaricom overpass, kbl overpass, kq overpass etc so long as it will help us unclog this main artery. IMO this world bank funding will push the project maybe as far back as 2016.
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Old May 2nd, 2012, 05:29 AM   #10
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Dhuks, what is the World Bank funding on Msa Rd

Your suggestion on getting local businesses on board infrastructure improvement is an excellent one
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Old May 2nd, 2012, 08:42 AM   #11
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Dhuks, what is the World Bank funding on Msa Rd

Your suggestion on getting local businesses on board infrastructure improvement is an excellent one
You recently commented that you saw people measuring roads and when you asked them they told you they want to do away with the roundabouts. In my opinion most likely those are the ones doing the feasibility study for the redesigned toll road project thats supposed to include the following

Quote:
2.2. Specific objectives
In particular, the study will include (but not be limited to) the features listed below:
2.2.1. Grade separation of road intersections
Attainment of grade separation at major road intersections including:
*(i) Mombasa Road/Popo Road/Kapiti Road junction
(ii) Mombasa Road/Langata Road/Lusaka Road junction
(iii) Mombasa Road/Bunyala Road junction
(iv) Uhuru Highway/Haile Sellassie Avenue junction
(v) Uhuru Highway/Kenyatta Avenue junction
(vi) Uhuru Highway/University Way junction
(vii) Chiromo Road/Riverside Drive junction
(viii) Waiyaki Way/Rhapta Road/Lower Kabete Road junction
(ix) Waiyaki Way/James Gichuru Road junction
2.2.2. Addition of lanes to existing carriageway
Addition of lanes, where feasible, including at the following locations
(i) Mombasa Road/Uhuru Highway/Chiromo Road/Waiyaki Way between Likoni road and James Gichuru Road. The installation of additional lanes may entail reconfiguration of existing lanes and construction of lowered or elevated roadways.
2.2.3. Roadways in cuttings and elevated roadways
Lowered or elevated roadways should be considered wherever right-of-way constraints or engineering justifications are applicable. Potential locations include:
(i) Mombasa Road/Uhuru Highway/Chiromo Road/Waiyaki Way between Nyayo Stadium and Westlands
2.2.4. Service roads
Service roads, wherever feasible and necessary for safety and improved traffic flow, may be considered
Once that is done they go back to the world bank and ask for funds. Have a look at this;

Quote:
19. Accordingly, it is prudent to re-assess the impact of all these changes including updating the economic analysis to establish
whether there are better alternatives to constructing an elevated highway along the section of the Northern Corridor over the Uhuru
Highway from the Nyayo Stadium roundabout to the Westlands roundabout (approximately 7 km) including expansion and
rehabilitation of the existing road sections and construction of overpass (or underpass) at the critical roundabouts is still the most
appropriate option along with investing in the balance of interventions identified earlier to address the congestion problem along the
main road artery through Nairobi. This will be verified by undertaking a quick traffic study of Nairobi and its environs taking account
of all the other investments currently on-going or planned on the Nairobi urban road network.
from
http://www-wds.worldbank.org/externa...6355650871.txt
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Old May 2nd, 2012, 10:19 AM   #12
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Thanks Dhuks!

Looks like we are in for the long haul if we engage the Bank

This will end up prolonging our nightmare
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Old May 2nd, 2012, 10:54 AM   #13
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Thanks Dhuks!

Looks like we are in for the long haul if we engage the Bank

This will end up prolonging our nightmare
And to imagine that project would have been done at the same time Thika road was done we would be on cloud nine. I think the only financiers who don't take long are the Chinese and AfDB. If the stretch between Merille river and Marsabit is anything to go by, EU is the worst.
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Old May 2nd, 2012, 11:40 AM   #14
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Correct observations

The Merille to Marsabit section was advertised some time last year, and it is yet to be awarded!
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Old May 2nd, 2012, 09:56 PM   #15
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Can a tunnel solve some of the problems
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Old May 3rd, 2012, 12:00 AM   #16
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Can a tunnel solve some of the problems
Would'nt it be super expensive?
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Old May 3rd, 2012, 12:13 PM   #17
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An elevated highway seems to be the most feasible solution to ending the traffic nightmare of Mombasa road and uhuru highway.There is simply not enough room to build several interchanges on uhuru highway for example.The other thing is, there are atleast 4 roundabouts on the highway, replacing these with interchanges will be a really complex and expensive affair.

A tunnel would be a good solution, but again, too costly and a logistical nightmare.

At haileselasie and uhuru highway roundabout, it could be possibly to squeeze in a Single Point urban interchange.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single-...an_interchange
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Old May 3rd, 2012, 02:27 PM   #18
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I think things are to be started with the basics. It is not as easy as it appears down here.

First remove the rogue driver from the roads.

Repair all 'shamba like' roads (minor arterial and collector roads) e.g. Parkroad which is so full of potholes , Ngara road, likoni road etc.

Mark all the roads and put proper road signs(remember now we don't have a rogue driver and also a rogue cop- a rogue cop goes down with a rogue driver)

Synchronize all working traffic lights and install new where they are necessary.

Remove all traffic police from the roundabouts/junction and place them as patrol cops on major roads. After all, a roundabout with traffic lights does not require a traffic police, it requires may be a traffic light maintenance crew and proper-thinking drivers.
Then this is where mega projects begins;- superhighways, tunnels, elevated roads, BRT systems, the commuter train service at every known estate etc

Here is what Gavin Bennett suggested at Christmas time:-
http://www.aakenya.co.ke/index.php?o...d=42&Itemid=73

Sorry to bother you today; I know you’re quite busy just now.
But I wonder if, while you are in the area, you could drop off just three little presents - one down the chimney of Traffic Police Headquarters, one to the Chief Engineer (Roads) and another to the Attorney General's Chambers. I promise you that if you could do just these three ever so small and ever so simple things, you will make 40 million (approx) people very happy.
This is what is needed, and this is the effect it will have:
To the AG's office, please take a copy of legislation governing the operation of "Clearways" - roads on which it is absolutely forbidden to stop, under any circumstances. Ideally, the text would make every road in Kenya a Clearway, and impose really big penalties (and I mean Big - like your tummy, or castration, or queuing in a government office) for any motorist who stops on the road at any time or any place - other than:
* at a Stop street
* in a designated parking place
* where it is dangerous not to stop (eg junctions)
* where, for whatever reason, all traffic has come to a halt.
The text should also allow the same penalties to be imposed on any vehicle which is not obstructed but which is moving at much less than the ambient speed of other traffic.
The logic here is that a vehicle moving at walking pace on a road where other vehicles are travelling at between 80 and 100 kph is as obstructive and dangerous as if it were standing still.
We already have laws which insist that vehicles must be roadworthy and not overloaded, and it is reasonable to presume that any vehicle that cannot progress at 60 kph or more on an open road MUST be either faulty or overloaded.
If an articulated truck can't do 60 kph, then either it is the wrong vehicle for the job it is being asked to do, or there is something the matter with it. If a car can't do 60 kph, then the driver has either lost his way or lost his mind.
Now, to make these systems practicable, we are going to need proper hard-stands/lay-bys for bus stops and for vehicles with a mechanical problem or any other reason for "stopping" along the way.
Many roads have a wide enough and hard enough shoulder for this purpose, but where the roadside is too narrow, or too boggy, or consists of a deep ditch, lay-bys would have to be built. For this the Chief Engineer will need a Christmas present of a few thousand tonnes of rocks (known as hard-core in the building trade).
To inform the motoring public of the new "Clearway" rules, a few signposts would also be helpful. For goodness' sake, Santa, not the normal "Clearway" signs of a red X on a blue circle. Those are much too difficult to recognise and remember.
What we need are huge white squares, with black writing that says: KEEP LEFT AND KEEP GOING OR GET OFF! (You may wish to substitute more approprite word for "Get").
To enforce this, the Traffic Police need a present that costs nothing. What they need is a mandate to devote any and all resources to enforcing the "Clearway" principle, before, above and even instead of any other rule of the Traffic Act/Highway Code.
The effect of this "Clearway" campaign would be dramatic.
* Immediately, traffic on all roads would start to move like a conveyor belt, with the great majority of vehicles traveling at the same speed.
* The need for overtaking (a prime cause of frustration, danger and accidents) would be very greatly reduced.
* Even at much lower ambient speeds, people would get to their
destinations faster. Cruising at 80 kph, steadily, is much faster than roaring at 110 and frequently stopping or crawling because of an obstruction. Steady speeds are also far more economical on fuel consumption and all other wear and tear.
In a short time, there would also be indirect benefits:
In well ordered traffic systems, motorists know that if they come across a slow-moving queue that there is a good reason for the blockage, and everybody is taking their turn to go through.
In Kenya, the reason for the blockage is often crass, unnecessary selfishness or incompetence which less patient drivers try to zoom past. When they do, others copy.
The upshot is an impatient, selfish and often incompetent motoring culture, which is translated - in dozens of different ways - into injury and death. Removal of obstructions would start to reverse this trend. The road safety implications are tremendous.
In summary, the "Clearway" principle would have greater beneficial effect on reducing congestion, reducing accidents, and improving general road conduct than any other single measure. Of course, buses full of passengers traveling at speeds way above either the vehicle's or the driver's ability are a deadly menace, but this should not disguise the oh-so obvious fact that, in general, slow and stationary vehicles are a far, far greater danger and cause of accidents than fast ones.
The need for really severe penalties on transgressors of the "Clearway" principle cannot be over-emphasised. The old axiom that the "punishment should fit the crime" is a load of bunkum. It presupposes a 100 per cent level of catch-prosecute-convict to balance the books.
In practice, "the punishment should be the reciprocal of the likelihood of being caught" to act as a deterrent. We will never be able to monitor all the roads all the time to prevent motorists stopping, selfishly, dangerously and needlessly, in the middle of the road.
If we covered 1 per cent of the problem we would be doing well. It follows that the punishment should be 100 times as severe as the crime.
That would be equitable. And, that would, verily, be Christmas!
So, Santa, a law, some rocks, some signs and some commitment. That's all we ask. Please.
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Last edited by DAKTA; May 3rd, 2012 at 02:33 PM. Reason: additional details
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Old May 3rd, 2012, 02:32 PM   #19
Arzedu
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Great ideas Ernest!

Trying to understand the sketch: it looks to me as if the sketch is for countries that drive on the right, ama?

Personally I was thinking that if we cannot afford to build overpasses in the near future, why not do something like allowing multi-lane movement for every green light? This means that we get rid of the roundabouts and allow optimal use of IT-enabled smart traffic lights that can sense "weight" of cars on the different lanes ... I have seen something similar to this at the NSSF intersection: you rarely see jams on this section.

I have this experience of roundabouts being poorly designed in Nairobi: lorries, for instance, have nightmares negotiating them, especially on Uhuru Highway
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Old May 3rd, 2012, 02:36 PM   #20
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Your ideas are spot on, Dakta!

If we get rid of the mega potholes as you say and get rid of the "itchy-finger" cops, and make sure all those who violate get punished, we will be somewhere.

We need this rigorous application of the law urgently. Kigali has only about 20,000 or so vehicles (compare with 1,000,000+ of Nairobi) but there is such disorder as to induce unbelief in the average Kenyan!
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