Habitat 101: NAIROBI,  ONCE THE CITY OF BIRDS 

Located in Kenya and embeds the capital, not long ago in the ‘80s,’90s and early 2000s it was once known as the city of birds. Having a national park at its heart, the city was not only known as the city with a national park but also as a haven for a wide array of bird species. Not only would you see them in the park but also within a thirty kilometres radius around the park. That was when I was a young child. Fast forward to around year 2010 and later, things have taken a turn. 

Every city has to play it’s stake…

As a city grows, so does its population and other factors that affect it. With a rise in population so comes a demand in settlement. Once a fairly populated city, it has now become densely populated with an estimate of about 4 million people selling within the county. This calls for clearing of trees to raise building to accommodate settlement. It was a first step in clearing the birds natural habitat. Second, came in the factor of transportation. Being the capital city, it became the network hub of transportation to various destinations. Increase in cars trafficking the city led to increase in air pollution… Noise and fumes from hooting and engine revving to emissions from car exhausts.


Photo credits Nation Media Group

Most birds are sensitive to noise and with it on the rise can lead to shift in habitat. With now sparse vegetation, due to human settlement, led to shortage of birds food supply. This kicked in for what natural instincts would do… Migration. So as the years passed by, so did the birds species and population reduce and the place to view most of them, is to pay a visit to the game park. The city has played its stake, it’s infrastructure for habitat loss. So, if strict development planning measures are put up, will it reverse bird’s population to its former days? 

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The controllable flood

Recently there have been floods on the roads of Nairobi. Not that there are no drainage systems along the road but because I’ve come to notice something about it… human irresponsibility. Trash is being damped on the road by motorists and the passers-by drop them along the road. On the dry season this may not look like something tragic but to say, oh this place is dirty! But all changes when it starts raining heavily. Upon heavy rains, the soil gets saturated enough to absorb any more water. This leads to pools of water being formed and eventually small streams. Basically, water flows downwards along gravity and drainage systems are best suited in managing water clogging.

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Photo courtesy:  nyumbanitv.com

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Photo courtesy : jambonewspot.com

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Photo courtesy : ghettoradio.co.ke

As this small streams intersect down the slopes into the drainage channels, the small chunks of plastics get carried along with it. Too much accumulation of it in the drainage lines lead to blocked drainage‎ resulting in water overflow and eventually flooding on the roads or streets.

Much of it has been addressed by environmentalists and taught in schools about waste management and control. It’s sad that people have become arrogant about it and we’re now facing the consequences. Flooding due to human activity is controllable. Let’s not blame the rains. Don’t dump wastes in the environment expecting someone to come and collect it for you. Take responsibility and some of this things will come to change for the better.

Yours,

Kevin