Posted November 16, 2020 1:29 pm by

Why people are leaving Nairobi’s Umoja estate in droves

There is something quite unusual happening in Umoja, or Umo as it is popularly referred to, that is causing its residents to move out en masse.

Umoja is considered convenient by tens of thousands of lower-middle-income Nairobians due to its strategic location and accessibility.

It has now become a pale shadow of its former glory.

You see, any Eastlander will tell you that Umoja was considered one of the suburbs of Eastlands some time back. It was the place to live if you ask anyone who lived in the area in the 90s and early 2000s.

And, in recent years, Umoja was the choice for anyone in their first job in Nairobi.

Houses were built with proper aesthetic value and enough room left for children’s playing grounds besides well-defined walkways.

The roads were also tarmacked with proper drainage systems.

Lost glory

Not any more. Even those in their first job no longer wish to be associated with Umoja.

In a span of a few years, demand for housing blocks in the area has led to rapid sprouting of housing flats. Any available land was converted into a housing block five or six storeys high, leading to its rapid deterioration.

“I came to live in Umoja in 2007. At that time, I was attending studies at a technical institute in the city. Umoja estate was largely well-defined in terms of housing structures. Most houses were mainly main houses and the flats there were only two storeys high,” recalls Oscar Odwar, a former resident of Umoja.

Water was plentiful and it was difficult to experience water shortages for weeks or months. But when housing blocks started to be built without a proper plan, the problem started,” he went on.

The influx of people moving to the area to occupy the cheaper rental spaces slowly changed Umoja from its state of glory to a state of devastation.

Besides the cheap houses, Umoja attracted many urban dwellers because of its accessibility to the Central Business District and neighbouring areas like Thika and the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

Easy access

Umoja can be accessed from the CBD via Jogoo Road or Outering Road.

The many routes to access the estate was another added advantage that made the area favourable to Kenyans working in the CBD.

This meant that commuters would spend reasonable time on the road especially during rush hours.

“Its accessibility is actually one of the main reasons I decided to move to Umo. Also, the availability of public transportation at any Read More…Why people are leaving Nairobi’s Umoja estate in droves  Why people are leaving Nairobi’s Umoja estate in droves  Why people are leaving Nairobi’s Umoja estate in droves  Why people are leaving Nairobi’s Umoja estate in droves