Nairobi civil servants to work in shifts, cutting congestion

By on 10/07/2018
Uhuru Highway is one of Nairobi’s busiest roads: the new initiative aims to reduce traffic congestion (Image courtesy: Troy Audi Peter).

Kenya’s public servants will soon be working split shifts to help tackle congestion in the capital city, the government has said.

The Public Service ministry has written to all civil servants working and living in Nairobi requesting details of their areas of work and residence, in order to decide how to split officials between two daily shifts.

The exercise to decongest the city’s Central Business District (CBD) is part of the Regeneration of Nairobi Programme, launched recently by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Making space

The scheme “aims to regulate reporting and leaving times to and from work, and ultimately to decongest the Nairobi central business district in order to promote ease of doing business,” said Douglas Ng’ang’a, director of administrative services in the National Assembly

The director of Kenya’s lower house of Parliament added: “In order for the ministry to make informed decisions, information in regard to the number of public servants in Nairobi and routes they normally use to and from work is required.”

Civil servants normally work between 8am and 5pm, during a 35-hour weekly schedule. The Public Service ministry has asked government employees to state whether they are self-driven, and the main route they normally travel to and from work. It has not yet explained when the shifts will fall, or when the change will be implemented.

Choked by traffic

The World Bank estimates that traffic jams cost 50m Kenyan shillings (US$500,000) a day in lost productivity in Nairobi, which generates 12.7% of Kenya’s GDP.

A report by UK-based firm Deloitte City Mobility Index (DCMI), which reviewed traffic and public transport services across major cities in the world, argued that Nairobi must invest in its cycling infrastructure and rapid bus transit lanes.

As part of the drive to decongest Nairobi, car-free days have also been proposed on Wednesdays and Saturdays, operating between 8am and 7pm in certain areas of the capital.

The Regeneration of Nairobi Programme is a joint effort between the national government and Nairobi’s county government. It sets out a set of economic and social initiatives designed to improve the livelihoods of Nairobi’s 5.2 million residents.

About Glen Munro

Glen Munro has worked as a journalist for a wide variety of trade and consumer titles, including the Daily Express, the Independent and the Evening Standard. Topics he has covered during his career include business issues, personal finance, travel and African and Caribbean affairs.

One Comment

  1. Jerome Shannon

    10/07/2018 at

    The use of the term ‘split shift’ has been wrongly used here. A split shift is where one person works two or more separate shifts in one day. What you are referring to here is simply ‘shifts’.

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