According to a report released last week during the COP17 Climate change in Durban South Africa, Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city, was ranked among the poorest cities in terms of environmental sustainability in Africa.
The study Titled ‘African Green City Index’, commissioned by the global electronics company Siemens and conducted by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), set out to compare the environmental performance of major cities in Africa. Nairobi faired poorly in overall rankings which included ‘energy and carbon dioxide, land use, transport, waste, water, sanitation, air quality and environmental governance’ (see The Star, ‘Nairobi rated among the poorest cities in Africa’, December 9).
The study analysed and compared the environmental performance in 15 cities in Africa which included Maputo, Dar es Salaam, Luanda, Addis Ababa, Alexandria, Cairo, Lagos, Casablanca, Tunis, Pretoria, Durban and Johannesburg. Addis Ababa emerged top in the rankings in the East African category.
According to the EIU’s Editorial director Delia Meth-Cohn, “the results of the study will help the cities understand and tackle their specific environmental challenges”. The report also accused the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) for failing to implement legislation.
Waste management in Nairobi is pathetic and it’s not out of the ordinary to find heaps of garbage even in the smarter suburbs. The city is also congested thanks to poor planning and the regular water shortages experienced by residents has put a strain on basic hygiene especially in the slums.
THE COST OF A SEAT IN PARLIAMENT
Of course to change all this requires not only political will, technical proficiency and administrative ability, it also requires money. One of these factors, however, appears not to be ion short supply in some quarters.
Kenyan taxpayers are still trying to absorb the shock that the cost of each retractable chamber seat in the ongoing renovation works for parliament building will cost them Sh200,000. Just to repeat that, that’s Sh200,000 per chair!
This revelation, reported by the Daily Nation last Friday, comes at a time when doctors have downed their tools asking for salary increment and more recruitment. The government has often been accused of getting its priorities wrong. The costly chairs for MPs’ backsides are certainly one of those instances.