Saturday, September 27, 2014

Africa 22: On the Road in Kenya.

Kenya has a few paved highways, but not nearly enough for it's population.  Traffic is heavy and crashes are numerous.

But traveling along those highways gives one a picture not normally seen of everyday life in Kenya.  The first word that comes to mind is poverty.

Poverty on a scale that is hard to comprehend for those of us who live in the west.

This could be a typical shopping center.  Consider for a moment the problems people face in their attempts to create a retail presence.

Those problems boil down to a dearth of capital and horrific lack of infrastructure.  So, people do the best they can with what they have--which isn't much.

Blocks, and corrugated sheets are the two most common building materials I saw.  Building codes either don't exist or aren't enforced.  The idea of zoning is largely unknown.

I did see upscale structures like this one, but they were few and far between.

Coke obviously has a large presence here.  But, heck, if you can get them to paint your building for you, why not sell it?

All that said, I take my hat off to the ingenuity and determination I saw in the people who were determined to claw a living out of this environment.

This guy sells propane out of a shipping container.  I say more power to him. 

People often start with one story, then gradually add more floors as they are able.

This is as close to a modern gas station that I saw there.  Most gas stations are nothing but pumps sprouting out of a cleared field.

In between villages it is allowed to graze your cattle and goats along side the road.

It is not uncommon to see wild animals grazing alongside the road as well.

People who lack access to motor vehicles, well, they walk.

Continue on to Post 23: Modern World Lives Side By Side with the Traditional, by clicking here.


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