The implications of EPZ(Athi River) on Residential Development in Kitengela

ABSTRACT
We live in a nation that has become overly dependent on the automobile. Despite walking having a range of benefits, the society has not yet embraced its importance. People drive even when the distances to be covered are easily manageable on foot. This has led to exponential increase in diseases associated with lifestyles some of which can be significantly prevented by just walking. This problem is highly experienced in the urban areas where people have been enslaved to the vehicle a phenomenon that has also led to increased traffic congestion in most of the urban roads. In the rural areas where roads are not easily accessible by the automobiles the situation is a bit different and people have to walk to access various services. The consequence is that rural people are less susceptible to lifestyle diseases and the rural physical environment remains less polluted as compared to the urban environment.
Kitengela is one of the towns that are experiencing rapid growth in human settlements in Kenya today and therefore a viable pilot center to put up necessary infrastructure that would entice people to walk. Given the congestion of vehicles which is at times a common occurrence on the Nairobi-Namanga Road, some motorists would prefer to park and walk rather than remain locked up in immobile jams that reduce their productivity whilst wasting their fuel at the same time. This study therefore is an assessment of provision of pedestrian infrastructure in Kitengela Township with an aim of providing such infrastructure that is lacking to upgrade the center into a walking town. The objectives of the study were to find out the condition of the existing pedestrian infrastructure in the study area and propose appropriate interventions to improve on their status; to evaluate the adequacy of the pedestrian paths and also find out whether there are areas which pose significant safety risks to pedestrians at any time. Finally from the study appropriate recommendations would be made to address the emerging issues.
To meet the above objectives the study involved a three day field survey where various stakeholders were interviewed and their opinions sought about the subject while the researcher also had a chance to interact with the real situation on the ground. Some of the major findings were encroachment of the pedestrian walkways by undesignated users which renders such walkways inadequate causing pedestrian congestion in some areas thereby
reducing the flow rate significantly; lack of facilities such as bollards, traffic signs and pedestrian crossings was a major finding that poses a safety threat to the pedestrians.
The study concluded that there is a deficiency of some very necessary infrastructure that is needed to promote walkability in the area of study. As a result the researcher came up with a couple of intervention measures which are detailed in chapter seven of this report. It therefore remains the task of the relevant authorities to adapt and implement the recommendations of this report in order to meet its objectives.

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