Nairobi to be covered by CCTV camera network by January 2013

The Kenyan government is fast-tracking a project to put the capital Nairobi under CCTV surveillance by early next year, in an attempt to curb the terrorism and rising crime rates within the city.

Already deployed in cities like South Africa’s Johannesburg, the new cameras will also be used to identify traffic offenders on the roads as well as to identify the terrorists who have targeted the city in the past months.

“To be frank we are putting terrorists and those criminals on notice,” the minister for Nairobi Metropolitan Jamleck Kamau said during a press briefing. “Their days are actually numbered, because as soon as this project finishes, those people who will be committing crimes and terrorists will have nowhere to hide.”

It is also expected that the cameras will help to monitor traffic on the Kenyan roads and to make sure drivers comply with the new road use act that has stiffer penalties for those who break the road rules.

Speaking at an interview with Kenya Television Network (KTN), the minister confirmed that they had already ordered the cameras and they will soon be mounted over 41 areas in the CBD.

“These cameras are effective because they have been used in other places, in fact in developed countries and when the project is complete we believe it will change the face of Nairobi completely,” he said.

The government of China had lent the Kenyan government KSh8.5 Billion (US$98 million) for the urban development, including the CCTV coverage, in May. The CCTV project will cost KSh437 million (US$5 million).

The project, still in its first phase, expects to cover other major towns in its subsequent phases.

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