The Consumers Federation of Kenya (Cofek) welcomes the notification by the Nairobi City County government to bar Public Service Vehicles (PSV’s) from the Central Business District from September 20, 2017.

Indeed the concerns of many Kenyans living in and or visiting Nairobi revolves around the huge traffic jams within and around the city on weekdays.

That said, we are constrained to caution that the rushed move to bar PSV’s from the CBD is not only insufficient but unsustainable to say the least. Nairobi needs a fully integrated traffic management plan with corresponding investment.

Previous attempts have failed. It is unlikely that this would succeed. In any case, it is a significant discrimination against commuters using PSVs. It can be easily legally challenged on the strength of Article 27(4) of the Constitution.

Consequently, we propose that the planned ban be put off for at least 3 months within which time;

(a)  Alternative modes of transport and facilitation of attendant infrastructure can be put in place

(b)  Reliable, decent and affordable transport to move people across the CBD, railway stations and the various termini is put in place

(c)  Proper and corruption-free enforcement mechanisms, both human and technological, are put in place

(d)  Sufficient parking lots and adequate sheds to protect Kenyans from adverse weather at the proposed new termini for PSVs. Security and order at such termini is critical

(e)  Public sensitization on the ban is made

(f)   Private cars, including those of VIPs, are equally banned from the central business district. Only ambulances and fire engines should be allowed into the CBD

(g)  Heavy trucks are kept off Uhuru Highway and deliveries into the CBD be done at night

(h)  Regulated motor-cycles and ordinary bicycles be allowed into the city centre

(i)    Hawking be regulated and strictly enforced

We will support the planned move but urge Governor Mike Sonko and his team to avoid a cosmetic approach to managing the challenge of traffic within Nairobi.

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