Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Re: FW: Parking nightmare in Mombasa

I was forwarded the following by a good friend and asked to comment on it. I've written about the road and traffic of Mombasa many times as well as about parking issues and the questionable charge that our Council has come up with.

There truly is a shortage of parking in this cramped little island of ours and having unruly drivers, especially of tuk tuks and matatus, makes things worse. These, abide by no traffic law and their only aim is to get to wherever they are going in the shortest possible time and route. To hell with other road users.

Regarding the parking, or lack of it, is the responsibility of our redoubtable Council. They have nothing like town planning up their sleeves and don't even think about the welfare of the citizens of this town when allowing structures to come up on road reserves, facilitating PSVs while inconveniencing other private vehicles to take very roundabout routes to get somewhere which is also in a pathetic condition, letting noisy religious buildings like mosques and halls turned into churches all over the place, letting mkokotenis park all over the place thereby decreasing the already few parking spaces. The only thing our Council is interested in is collecting money and since the mkokoteni guys pay 'parking' fees or whatever to the Council, they promptly wash their collective hands regarding the thought that they are supposed to give to facilitate business in the CBD.

To them it matters little nor do they care, if the business community which pays for their salaries, that they are supposed to encourage the smooth running of the town and the citizens who are running businesses and also the ones who shop and/or go about for whatever purpose to town.

Heavy trucks, trailers and other heavy vehicles are also allowed within the CBD which adds to the chaos, jams and frustration. These have no business being there. Why are these allowed into the CBD? Our town roads are not made for such heavy traffic. Should not the traffic police be doing something about this?

The resultant chaos and mess will require the rearranging of attitudes and brains. I wonder if our Council is at all capable of this.....

About the water, power, garbage, etc., is concerned, I've written many emails about these, too, which can be read at my blog whose address is in the signature line at the bottom of this email.

------ Forwarded Message
From: "Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, MSA" <info@kenyachamber.co.ke>
Date: Wed, 16 Mar 2011 11:57:26 +0300
To: <"Undisclosed-Recipient:;"@alfakenya.com>
Subject: Parking nightmare in Mombasa

Dear sir/Madam,

Vehicle parking in Mombasa is a nightmare to many who have made an attempt to drive around town for business. The problems range from irregular allocation of parking slots, inhuman treatment of motorist by the KAPS staff, clamping of vehicles unnecessarily, vandalism of vehicle parts in full view of KAPS staff and many more.

Our initial efforts to get some of the issues addressed were fruitless because it is currently not clear who is managing parking in the town because the council and KAPS are fighting through the courts for control of the service. As a result there is no harmony in the management of traffic and more so parking in Mombasa. This has left the business community members operating in the CBD to lose business because no one want to come for shopping in the town with his or her car.

In view of the above, the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mombasa Branch plans to hold a brain storming session with the business owners and stake holders on the way forward that can minimise the losses in business. We therefore wish to invite you to send your comments in advance as we prepare for this important meeting to be incorporated in chamber's position paper on traffic and Parking problems in Mombasa. The date and venue of the meeting will be communicated to you soon. Views on any other issue affecting you in your business such as oil prices, Electricity supply, water etc are also welcome.

The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry is also giving you a golden opportunity to establish new contacts, network and market your products and services by partnering with her in implementing the schedule activities and projects herein attached. To partner with Chamber on any of the scheduled programmes and projects feel free to contact us by email, phone or pay us a visit at our office which is situated at Kizingo, Mombasa.

We also appeal to those who are not members yet or have not renewed their membership to do so by filling the attached form and returning it to us with the amount due depending on your category.

Thanking you in anticipation of your support in creating a business friendly environment to do business in Kenya.

Yours faithfully,

James N.Mureu
Chairman, Mombasa Branch
National Director, Exports and Tourism Committee
Email: chairman.msa@kenyachamber.co.ke

------ End of Forwarded Message

Monday, March 14, 2011

Striking KPLC workers...

It is very interesting to note that since the junior KPLC workers have been on strike since the beginning of last week, we have not had as many outages.

Also, the ones we have had have been of shorter duration than usual. The phones are also surprisingly being answered quite promptly, too. And our complaints addressed pronto!

So, one wonders what these striking KPLC workers are all about. They seem to be making things worse and highly inefficient! They also irritate and frustrate the public with their attitude on the phones......., by not answering them or being downright horrible on them.

Shouldn't somebody up there (senior), be making a note of these things?

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Saturday, March 12, 2011

How do you say "OH S**T" in Chinese ?

While the following looks disgusting and laughable (only because the block is not occupied), and not so laughable and worse is happening in this country.

Our Town Planners, if they are planning anything responsible and livable, pass highly dangerous plans whose product is questionable and quite unlivable at best.

The buildings that they allow to be put up are substandard and never a thought is given as to the kind of surroundings where they are going to be put up. No thought is given to recreation or play areas for children, yet we have the majority of our population which is very young. Every available space, even the required 7 feet or more between buildings is taken over. In the process we will soon be having no greenery and shady areas in our towns and suburbs - just a questionable and unplanned ugly concrete jungle.

While the rest of the world is trying to be eco-friendly our Town Planners give little thought to such things other than their capacious and corrupt pockets. If all the recipients of this email will cast a glance around their respective neighbourhoods, they will be able to see what I mean.

In fact, I have countless such structures coming up all around mine and despite reporting this matter to NEMA and our Physical Planners, it has made not a jot of difference and the structures continue to be built with total disregard for other neighbours and the environment and nobody raising a voice or a finger to correct this.

We do have the most corrupt and selfish lot out there.....

Unfortunately, the pictures below don't show in the blog but, when you read the comments, you'll probably understand what happened to that building......, I hope.

How do you say "OH S**T" in Chinese?

Anyone who bought an apartment here sure has a problem.

Talk about a collapsed market!



(1) An underground garage was being dug on the south side of

the building, to a depth of 4.6 meters (15 ft).

(2) The excavated dirt was being piled up on the north side of

the building, to a height of 10 meters (32 ft).

(3) They dug right up to the base of the building. Then the rains


(4) The building experienced uneven lateral pressure from

north to south.

(5) This resulted in a lateral pressure of 3,000 tonnes, which was

greater than what the un-reinforced pilings could tolerate. Thus,

the building toppled completely over in a southerly direction.

*First, the apartment building was constructed.*

Then the plan called for an underground garage to be dug out.

The excavated soil was piled up on the other side of the building.

*Heavy rains resulted in water seeping into the ground.*

The building began to tilt. Then it began to shift, and the
"hollow" concrete pilings were snapped due to the uneven
lateral pressures

And thus was born the eighth wonder of the world.

If these buildings were closer together, it would have resulted in

a domino effect.

Notice that there's NO rebar in the pilings! Just some wire mesh.

They built 13 stories on grade, with no basement,
and tied it all down to
hollow pilings with no rebar.

Brought to you by the same folks that make your kids' toys
and want to build your next car.

Now that, folks, is a true snafu.

Don't you feel better now that these are the folks that
manufacture nearly EVERYTHING we buy and use today?

One more product