Nairobi is growing at a rapid pace. The city is getting very congested and housing issues are rampant. For this reason, more people are opting to live on the outskirts than within the city. Developers have also taken note. There are more and more real estate developments on the outskirts of Nairobi. Quite possibly more than in the city itself. It has been hypothesized that the only people being left in the city are people on complete opposite ends of the financial spectrum: very rich and poor. Below are some of the benefits of living on the outskirts of Nairobi.
Nairobi is quite small. There are many people to house in this city. There is not enough space for everyone to be satisfied with how much of it they have. However, on the outskirts, there is still quite a bit of land to go around. That means that developers are creating houses with ample space. The units come with spacious rooms and the compounds are sufficient at the very least. This is especially important for people with large families. The outskirts provide a freer life in terms of living space.
As has been mentioned above, Nairobi is very densely populated. So many people on the streets and even more in the neighborhoods. The situation is the same in good public schools. They have more children than the teachers should be able to manage. The opposite is true for the outskirts though. There seems to be a good spread of people in these neighborhoods. Even the buildings are sufficiently spaced. The public schools in these areas are also a lot less populated or crowded than those that are right in the middle of the city. Moving to Syokimau, Tala or Thika would be a good way to get away from the crowds and congested streets.
Urge to own
Many properties in the outskirts are designed to be rent to own. The Syokimau Bluebell apartments are a good example of this scheme. There are options just like this in the city. However, it seems like these options are more expensive than those on the outskirts. Due to the general set up as well as the affordability, people tend to be more motivated to own on the outskirts. If you would like to try it out, renting there would be a good way to test it out. You and your family could get used to the outskirts life before permanently committing to it. The decision to own is a big one and impacts many aspects of life. It should not be taken lightly.
Nairobi air is very polluted. It is polluted from matatu emissions and industries among other sources. Air pollution can get and keep you sick with all sorts of illnesses. Moving to the outskirts will get you further and further from the matatu emissions. That is unless you are moving to a particular section of Athi River. These areas have been the subject of talk for a very long time with debilitating pollution. In most outskirts neighborhoods, the worst kind of air pollution will be dust. While this can get people sick too, it is easier to manage that pollution from industrial and motor vehicle fumes.
How many times have you woken up to the sound of birds in the city? How often do you encounter a pure starlit sky instead of one that is all glare from the city lights? There is something about leaving the city behind after a day’s work that freshens up the mind. It is very relaxing. Your weekends will quiet. You will not be woken up by noisy matatus on Sunday morning. You will not be distracted by impromptu crusades. The bottom line is that you will have quieter and more peaceful days on the outskirts than you will be living in the heart of the city.
Security in the country is generally not the best. The economy is bad and that is driving the rates of crime up. Some neighborhoods in Nairobi are more insecure than others. People who live on the outskirts neighborhoods are a lot more proactive about their security. They band together and pay for proper security as well as push for features like street lights. This is despite crime being relatively lower than in the neighborhoods in the city. As a rule when moving to the outskirts, if you can help it, do not move to a place that is both remote and sparsely populated. This is a security risk.
This is dependent on the neighborhood in question. Some are way cheaper than the city but others are more expensive. For example, food in Kitengela is quite affordable even though the same is pricier in Syokimau. Groceries in Thika are also quite affordable. All of these are compared to prices in the city. It seems that in most cases, the further you get from the city center the more expensive food gets. Developers and investors are investing in the outskirts. They are bringing malls, schools, and hospitals to these places at the same or a lower cost.
Sit at a local pub in Kiambu for one hour. You will notice that every time a local walks into the pub they will greet more than three-quarters of the patrons. Do the same at a pub in Langata. When a local walks in, they may greet a few people but not so many as compared to the former. This is a show that people in the outskirts have a better sense of kinship and community than in the city. The city might be appreciative of differences and welcoming to all. However, friendships do not run deep. They tend to remain in the acquaintance stage for a long time, perhaps forever.
The hustle and bustle of the city can deteriorate your health. The hours spend sweating in traffic. The air and noise pollution. The dog eat dog culture of the city. These can do a number on your blood pressure and heart health. If you feel that the city is getting a little too untenable for you then moving to the outskirts would be a good idea. You would still be able to commute to work every day. However, the difference is that you would get to leave all of that behind every evening. This might not solve all your health problems but at the very least you will have peace of mind.
Before you move…
The above benefits may lead you to decide to move without truly thinking about it. However, before you make the move to a country adjacent neighborhood, below are a few things you should think about.
This is a very big deal. If your job is right in the middle of the city you will need to think about how you will get to work every day without going through too much. If your commute is too stressful then moving to the outskirts will have the opposite effect on your health. You can start using the train. You could also tailor your reporting times in such a way that you are never on the road at rush hour. That means you could get to work by 7 in the morning and leave at 3 in the afternoon. You could also get to work at 10 or 11 in the morning then leave the office at 8 in the evening.
Before you move to this new place that is further from the city than you are used to, you need to think about the sustainability of the new life. Can you sustain your commute regime? Can you sustain the cost of living in the new place? Can you sustain the lifestyle? You need to think of the long term. You cannot move there and hope that you will settle into the new groove without some kinks. It is going to be difficult especially for the children.
Human beings are social beings. That means that if you move, you will need to think about what happens to your social life and that of your children. While you should be open to creating new friendships, you should not let your old friendships fall through the cracks. Think about how your social life will continue to thrive despite being removed from your usual environment. You should do the same for the children.
If you have children, it would be best to move after a school year so that the children do not join a new school right in the middle of a term. Moving earlier in the holiday is also advisable. It gives them a chance to make new friends and maybe even meet some of their new classmates. If you do not have children, the end of the year right before breaking for Christmas would still be best to move. It would give you time to try on the new commute for size.
Moving to the outskirts is generally a good idea. It contributes to city decongestion efforts. It gives you a chance to expand your horizons. However, it will be a hard transition. You must make contingency plans for any kinks that you might encounter.