The Nairobi city administration - Why keep it simple?

The Nairobi area has an even more complex system of government administration than the rest of Kenya. Nairobi is one of eight Kenyan provinces. But in this case, the province of Nairobi covers the same area as Nairobi city. The Nairobi City administration (currently led by mayor Dick Wathika) is the only local authority in Nairobi province, but it also has a Provincial Commissioner (currently James Waweru).

Nairobi District

All other Kenyan provinces are further divided in districts, but in Nairobi there’s only one of this (Nairobi District). So the same Nairobi area is occupied by 3 polities: the municipality (city), the division and the province.

Divisions of Nairobi

Furthermore, like other districts, Nairobi District is futher divided into 8 "divisions" which are further divided into "locations". Are you still with me?

The 8 divisions of Nairobi District are:
- Central division
- Dagoretti division
- Embakasi division
- Kasarani division
- Kibera division
- Makadara division
- Pumwani division
- Westlands division

Nairobi Constituencies

Then you have the constituencies of Nairobi. These follow the exact same boundaries as divisions (which is usually not the case in the other provinces of Kenya), but some constituency names differ from the division names. Why keep it simple if you can make it more complicated as well?

The constituencies of Nairobi are Dagoretti, Embakasi, Kamukunji, Kasarani, Langata, Makadara, Starehe and Westlands.

Centralized Administration

Kenya has a strong national government, which allows precious little local autonomy. The former mayor of Nairobi, John Ndirangu, did not even seek re-election after this 2-year term in 2001, pointing to the fact that the Nairobi city council could not spend more than 10,000 Kenyan shillings (US$ 150) without authorization from a national government department.

Nairobi - Main page