In Summary
  • City cyclists say their biggest headache is lack of bicycle lanes, cycle tracks, or where they are, they are poorly designed.
  • Mutura Kuria, an artist, says that one of the biggest concerns among many urban residents is accessing clean and affordable energy for cooking and lighting.

After five years of cycling and winning over 300 cyclists into her circle, Cyprine Mitchell, a Nairobi-based urban planner, decided that they would be cycling for a bigger course; like advocating for clean energy and reduction of environment pollution.

After some successes, Mitchell says they are shifting focus into having more cyclists so as to decongest the roads.

That move would also compel the government to include non-motorised lanes in its new urban road designs. “I always noticed that I spent less time on the road whenever I cycled to work, and I would also return home early enough to be with my family after work. So, we founded a cyclists’ movement known as Critical Mass Nairobi to encourage mass cycling,” explains Mitchell, adding than the cyclists’ movement was established in 2014 with seven cyclists.

The cyclists meet on the last Saturday of every month to cycle, and this event is open for all.

AWARENESS

Whereas cycling reduces carbon emissions into the environment while keeping the riders healthy, city cyclists say their biggest headache is lack of bicycle lanes, cycle tracks, or where they are, they are poorly designed.

On May 1, as the rest of the world celebrated Labour Day, Mitchell and other 600 cyclists convened at Jeevanjee Gardens in Nairobi’s central business district, then cycled through the deserted city streets before joining a gathering at the August 7 Memorial Park.

At the memorial park, a host of artists including Red Fourth Choir and other creative art performers kept the crowd entertained with performances centred on renewable energy uptake, especially in informal settlements, indoor air pollution and urban renewal.

The event came few months after President Uhuru Kenyatta assented to three key bills namely Urban Areas and Cities (Amendment) Bill 2017, Petroleum Bill 2017, and Energy Bill 2017, which establishes three national entities to manage and regulate Kenya's energy resources.

REGULATIONS

The law (Energy Bill 2017) establishes the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority, the Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation (REREC) and the Nuclear Power and Energy Agency.

The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority will regulate generation, importation, exportation, transmission, distribution, supply and use of electrical energy with the exception of the licensing of nuclear facilities.

The Urban areas and cities law allows county governments to review the criteria for classifying an area as a city, municipality, town or market centre.

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