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Battle to reclaim Buru Buru’s faded glory – PHOTOS

In the early ’80s, Buru Buru was an enviable middle-class estate in Nairobi, where many people wished to live, and those already living there were proud to be associated with.

The estate was characterised by beautifully lined white maisonettes with orange brick tiles housed in sizable compounds designed in courts, with each compound having a low, neatly trimmed hedge. It was clean, serene and secure.

Built in the ’70s and ’80s, the estate was designed as a middle-income Commonwealth estate whose design was meant to be replicated in other Commonwealth countries in Africa.

It was mostly inhabited by business people, government officials, professionals and a few expatriates on short-term assignments in the country.



Located in the midst of the ever-growing Eastlands, Buru Buru gradually started going the way of most estates in the populous area, with haphazardly built extensions coming up every year. This also saw the once beautiful flower hedges replaced with concrete walls.

In the recent past, things have become increasingly bad, what with an upsurge of informal businesses, which have set up unsightly temporary structures on every available foot path near the main road, along routes within the estate and above drains.

They go as far as hanging their wares on the walls of people’s houses and even in front of businesses, institutions and churches in a chaotic manner.

Others display their wares along the footpaths near the main road at the shopping centre, making it difficult for the large number of people using the footpaths to move.



Heaps of garbage, noise and air pollution, not to mention the huge population comprising residents, hawkers and people in transit to the nearby Umoja estate, have changed the once peaceful and serene estate into a chaotic mess.

The roads are riddled with potholes, and the infrastructure is severely strained. The drainage system is clogged by garbage recklessly thrown by the hawkers, such that when it rains, the roads, and even some houses, get flooded.

The once beautifully lined maisonettes are no longer  the estate’s defining characteristic, as residential and commercial extensions to the buildings, original main house, have transformed it into a veritable concrete jungle, with very few of the houses maintaining their original look.

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SOURCE: Daily Nation