Residents endure pain to get services delivered in Nairobi

Tuesday, August 24th, 2021 00:00 |

It is shortly after 9am and a worn-out Rebecca Nthenge strolls into City Hall, her three children in tow.

Nthenge, a second-hand clothes trader at the sprawling Kibera slums, has been seeking audience with the Chief Officer in charge of Trade at City Hall Annex, a building which houses most county offices, for the past three months in vain.

At the entrance, Nthenge, meets two mean-looking security officers who nonchalantly direct her to the ninth floor, notwithstanding the fact that the lifts have stalled.

For starters, the guards who operate in shifts are clueless as to where the offices are located even as Nthenge emerges from the stairs more tired and tells them she was unsuccessful in her attempt.

Such is the archaic modus operandi that has pervaded City Hall as Nairobi residents who are seeking service suffer in silence with the authorities adopting a hear no evil, seen no evil attitude.

Distraught residents said the problem mostly lies in signage where there are no definite offices for assistance in varied services which they require.

The complaints come in the wake of the confusion arising from the erroneous naming of departments which has in turn led to service seekers going into the wrong offices.

“Everything at City Hall is in haywire and I have personally given up after being referred elsewhere to no avail.

The modus operandi is baffling as the naming of the offices does not indicate the services they are supposed to provide,’’ said a resident who only identified himself as Philemon Nyoike. 

The same is the situation at City Hall Assembly chambers.

Further, most city residents have decried the delay by City Hall to release campaign posters despite the fact that the national elections are a few months away.

 A walk on most corridors at both City Hall Building and City Hall Annex you find campaign posters from the previous elections.

This comes even after a directive by Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) issuing a directive that all city buildings should be repainted and repaired.

When contacted, CEC Environment Larry Wambua referred us to NMS. “NMS is in a better capacity to respond to that,” he said before hanging his phone on us.

Efforts to contact NMS boss Lt-Gen Mohammed Badi also failed to bear fruit as he didn’t respond to our calls nor responded to our texts to his phone.

The Public Health Cap 242 and county by-laws require property owners within the city to repaint their buildings after every two years.

The Public Health Act Cap 242 states that “any person who is guilty of an offence under, or convention of, or default in complying with, any provision of these Rules shall be liable to a fine not exceeding Sh1,500 for every day during which the contravention continues”.

This is not the first time that building owners in the capital are being ordered to repaint their premises as there have been numerous orders in the past.

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