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THE CUTTING EDGE

Sunday February 3 2019

CAR-FREE DAYS: Though the “car-free days” plan for Nairobi has been shelved, Ruth Gituma is still disappointed about the lack of public consultations before Transport minister James Macharia and the city county leadership announced the decision to bar motor vehicles on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Says she: “There are business people and other residents who pay rent and rates and yet their views are not taken into account. We have serious security issues, congested streets that are not well-lit, cameras not working...We should not copy and paste what other cities are doing.” Her contact is [email protected]

 

CHANGING NAPPIES: The SGR’s Madaraka Express passenger train has shortened travel between Nairobi and Mombasa, James Wakibia says. But after travelling to Mombasa by economy class recently, James came away feeling that a lot more needs to be done to make it better. His biggest grouse is about failure to cater for mothers travelling with babies, who need to change nappies several times during the four-hour journey. “It may seem like a trivial issue but it’s vital. Kenya Railways should be mindful of the plight of the little ones, too.” His contact is [email protected]

 

SUICIDE PLAGUE: Suicide, the World Health Organisation predicts, will by 2030 become the leading cause of death globally, notes Edwin Kariuki. The vice, Edwin adds, has been on the increase in most of the urban areas, especially among teenagers. The menace can be effectively fought through education of youth on how to deal with the immense social pressure driving many of them to kill themselves. A useful avenue, he urges, is the use of social media to explain the problem, without being overly judgemental, advice and support youth to deal with the challenges. His contact is [email protected]

 

VANDALISM: News of the high incidence of environmental degradation and vandalism in the national parks during the 35-day government shutdown in the US is a vital lesson for Kenyan officials, remarks Prof Maina Muchara. The big lesson is, “left on their own, human beings the world over are base and uncouth”. Saying that “it requires hard work to enforce the law, daily, and not once in a while”, he argues that vandalism “is a sign that government officers are not doing their work” and that the Kenyan public is not uniquely bad. His contact is [email protected]

 

SIFTING PUPILS: A private school in Siaya County, one of those popularly called “academies”, has gained notoriety for forcing weak students to repeat Standard Seven as it sieves the very best to sit the KCPE examination, says a disgusted James Onyango. At times, he adds, they will have collected fees from parents but advise them to enrol their children in other schools as a means to ensure that they register only those capable of scoring high marks. The jettisoned students end up sitting the exam in public institutions. James hopes the authorities will look into this impunity. His contact is [email protected]

 

ROAD PETITION: Upset about the long delay in the reconstruction of Likoni Road in Nairobi’s Industrial Area, Carol Wendy says that she has no option but to launch a petition. “Please, assist us to get this petition out far and wide so that it can reach the highest national leadership to kick out this apparently incompetent contractor.” That the job is incomplete some five years later is unacceptable as some major projects have been done with within a year. She hopes to catch the eye of Governor Mike Sonko, the Transport minister and Kura. Her contact is [email protected]

Have faster day, won’t you!