Is Kilome being turned into a concrete jungle?

Konza farm and it’s neighbouring society farms have been divided into 7-10acre and commercial plots. That’s Machakos to almost Sultan hamud approximately 70 kms of planned housing (ie consumption of stone,cement and sand! ). What value does ALL this consumption add to the region? Cement makes 2 or 3 firms richer, while sand is exploitative destroying local river beds while living local youth poor and bitter.
This area is rich in natural plains wildlife (natural resource) that requires little investment compared to housing and nature maintains itself. Why replace what is natural and free with concrete? What economic sense is there in all this?
Lets look at Business Outsourcing through IT on which the planned City is based on. Outsourcing comes down to 2 things – Reliability/Dependability and Cost. Reliability is dependant on Integrity and internalised structures, while cost is dependant on availability of iT hardware/software, power costs and reliable competitively cheap connectivity to internet.
All smart phones, ipads, etc are mobile computers with internal modems ie computers are down to 8000/= to 100,000 dependent on internal processing power. That means with an Ideos I have both hardware and software in my pocket ALL the time. All I need is connectivity which I get as long as telephone networks are available. I I’m then be able to work wherever I want – on the roadside, in bed, under a tree, hut,Turkana… at this point my only huddle is power to charge my garget. Option is solar or cheap electricity both of which are NOT dependent on a city’s availability. Structures are dependant on systems set up for delivery mainly done by companies. They may need a building but those working for them need not be physically available thus reducing costs to the business owner and small offices are thus required. This may explain why ALL ICT cities are sparsely populated (ref; TV images) – unlike the ‘Artists Impressions of our city!
The last component connecting them is internet connectivity, it’s reliability and costs.
Now this is where NO single person has said anything meaningful. What are our(KENYA’s) country’s costs compared to ALL other countries worldwide providing outsourcing services – connectivity, labour, electricity and integrity?

Let’s look at housing:
Where will all these people to live in this housing work if the IT offices need not be big? Where is the infrustructure to support ALL this housing – sewage, water, electricity, roads, …other than that provided for in Konzacity masterplan for the city ONLY! How many of these Kenyans will get contracts and jobs to build this infrustructure? Are we able to even provide the same for the small towns around this area that already exist? Salama town  that sits on the main water pipeline to supply ukambani piped water has water availability issues.
The other talk I hear on TV is that it provides an opportunity to  correct low cost housing in Nairobi as Kibera costs about 800 million an acre. Kibera exists due to an economic reality – cheap labour for our local industries in Nairobi. We will provide cheap rail transport – a rail line runs through kibera, but for the employment to make economic sense to the workers they seek residences from which they can WALK to and from to access jobs. Will they walk from Konza or pay for a 40+ km journey if they can’t afford to pay for a 4km journey?
Can someone place on the table the ACTUAL Environmental Impact Assessment  done for turning this zone into a concrete jungle!
Clearly this whole plan is informed by ‘A Land Speculator’ who’s asking  people to gamble so that he/she will make money immediately irrespective of the mess they leave behind or economic losses that result from housing without businesses to sustain their occupation locally(or can someone show me the activity locally that will provide jobs to pay for this housing, in turn pay loans taken to buy the land and build the houses).
This zone is rich in Kongoni Antelope(HarteBeest) visible even from mombasa road. Walk along Koinange street or Muindi mbingu street in Nairobi and ask ANY tour driver parked there, the only other two zones known for such Kongoni numbers are Mara and Samburu each 200+ kms away. These same plains have been in International news recently for a ‘Spottless Cheetah’ a very rare phenomenon last recorded 100+years ago(ref link). Cheetahs depend on open plains game.

Text & Images
©Muoki Kioko 2009-2012

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  1. May 8th, 2012
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