Challenges to Expect While Living in Nairobi

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Every city in the world has its own advantages and disadvantages. If the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, the better.

Nairobi is no exception, it is the capital of Kenya. This means it is the busiest town in Kenya, working on a 24-hour basis.

The major disadvantages include:

Traffic jam

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This depends on the side of Nairobi you live in. Thika Road is less congested because of the superhighway though it is also affected when approaching CBD.  Mombasa Road, Lang’ata Road, and Ngong Road are usually highly congested driving to the town in the morning and driving from the town to the respective neighborhoods and estates.

However, there is Syokimau Train which comes in handy in the morning for Mombasa Road commuters living around JKIA, Syokimau, Mlolongo, and Kitengela.

Street Children

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Some years ago they had been cleared from Capital City but months later, they have since moved back to the streets. This poses a big security problem because it is hard to differentiate the legitimate beggars from fraudsters.


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This depends on the part of Nairobi City you are at, the downtown area of River Road, Muthurwa, Gikomba, Kariokor is the most unsafe because of many unemployed people who are usually hovering on the streets, selling fake mobile phones filled in with mud and defrauding unsuspecting innocent people.

However, the central business district is somehow secure but this doesn’t mean you walk with your bag wide open exposing your mac or iphone.

When withdrawing money from an ATM, it is good to always be aware of the place very well. Use ATMS in shopping malls because it is easy to raise alarm or shout if someone tries to steal you off.


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I am not sure whether to call this politics or tribalism or something else but honestly, this is a major challenge. You commonly find small gatherings of people talking and arguing about politics.

This can cause tension but really this can’t be a reason to make you think twice about moving to Nairobi. Some of the demonstrations can lead to violence and chase offs with the police.


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Most of the people don’t want to follow the laws and order, however, they try to look for short cuts to solve their problems. e.g when caught by traffic police, most people will be willing to offer a bribe rather than go to the court which will charge them a heavy fine/ticket.

Another example, for your documents(e.g company registration documents) to be processed, some people will offer to give a bribe for their documents to be processed fast.

Black Outs

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I don’t know it is where I live or what, but I am sure every other Nairobi dweller will agree that electricity blackouts can be quite frustrating.

You have a deadline to meet and you are working on your laptop and the power goes off, you have an examination the next day and power goes off, you have a football match to catch and the power goes off, you have to iron/press your clothes in the morning, you lazily sleep hoping to iron them the next morning but you wake up and find there is no power. Then there is this analogy of whenever it heavily rains, power goes off.

Water Shortage

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This depends on where one lives. I cannot comprehensively state the areas that have water challenges. When looking for housing, you will need to inquire about this. If you find an estate with a borehole the better.

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