Road safety in Nairobi: at the crossroads

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Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, is one of Africa’s fasting growing cities. Its population has doubled in just 16 years. If you are poor, you are likely to be walking or using public transport on a road system that prioritises cars. You may live in the east, in Eastlands and the Mathare Valley, or in Africa’s largest urban slum, Kibera. Living conditions in these areas are hard, and they are not served by any major roads.

Nairobi has a population of 4 million and reports 11 road-related fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants. Vulnerable users make up more than 90% of fatalities.

Instead, to get to work, some people walk as far as 20 kilometres each way. Others contribute to the 2.7 million public transport trips each day, many on the matatu (informal bus) system. Neither is a safe option.