Among the many cases brought before City's Magistrate Court, a good number of them could have been avoided if only Nairobians paid more attention to the County bylaws.
While some of us may sincerely not be aware that such bylaws exist, others have blissfully chosen to flout these rules and regulations, terming them as outrageous.
Either way, pleading ignorance or brokenness when pounded on by overzealous City Council askaris won’t save you.
Therefore, in order for you to avoid getting arrested and lead a stress-free life in Nairobi, it's vital that you understand its laws and obey them.
In this article, we’ll try and highlight most of these laws with the intention of creating awareness among the business community and also the general public.
1. General Nuisance
• Making any kind of noise on the streets
• Causing any risk to users through the destruction of a building or road
• Causing risk of users through inadequate fenced or unfenced land, lack of repair, protection,
removal or enclosure; leaving things around that may make one fall or and discharge a missile
in or near a street.
• Destroy the surface of a public street.
• Willfully blocking a free passage or removal/displacement of any council property.
• Cutting down a tree without a permit from the council
• Playing any game, riding or driving or propelling on a foot path
• Defacing any building by writing signs or grafting
• Depositing any type of material or waste on the streets
• Spitting on any foot path or blowing the nose aimlessly other than into any suitable clothe or
• Committing any act contrary to public decency.
• Loitering, importuning or attempting to procure a female/male for prostitution purpose
• Defecating or urinating on a street or any other space.
• Conveyance of open food in a manner likely to cause contamination.
• Keeping any animal or poultry which cause a nuisance to any resident in the neighborhood
• Washing, repairing or dismantling any vehicle in a prohibited area except in the case of
• Touting for passengers
• Failure to observe traffic lights or zebra crossing.
• Driving or permitting to be driven in any overloaded vehicles such that its contacts are
• Allowing hedges and tree to encroach and pose a danger to traffic movement.
Rules and regulations
• All tree hedges or other growth should be chopped, trimmed or removed.
• All meat poultry for sale should be inspected.
• Every building should be painted at least once every year.
• A landlord should ensure that the frontage of a building is kept clean, in a good condition and
• A building owner should ensure the installation of security lights in the front of the building.
2. Solid Waste Management
• It is the city council’s duty to regulate waste and its management within the city.
• The council may revoke/cancel a waste operator’s permit in the breach of given conditions.
• Waste operators permit is not transferable without the consent of the council.
• The council must provide a place to dispose of waste before it is transferable to the final disposal.
• The council should issue directions for different collections charges at different places.
• Any duly authorized officer may inspect a residential dwelling or trade premises at any time.
• Disturbing a waste disposal site or container approved by the council is wrong.
• Organized groups will be given designed for small scale resource recovery.
• Any person, who produces, carries, keeps, treat, disposes of waste e.t.c with an exception to domestic household waste is made to authorized persons.
• Occupiers/tenants of any building/trade premises must have a sizeable container with a good lid in which the daily domestic waste should be kept.
• Domestic and trade premises occupiers and owners shall separate recyclable waste and place in a different container provided/approved by the council.
• Premises owners/occupiers of the premises should ensure hazardous/clinical waste in managed to the satisfaction of the council.
• Burning, throwing away e.t.c of waste in an appropriate place is an offense.
3. Fire Brigade
• Entering any premises which are on fire without authorization from the senior officer.
• Obscuring molesting or interfering with any member of the fire brigade when on duty.
• Giving false fire alarm to the bridge.
• Making or causing a fire.
• Denying entry to obstructing an officer from inspecting or getting any information from any premise.
• Using premises without obtaining a fire prevention clearance certificate from the Chief Fire Officer.
• It is the duty of the senior fire officer present at the scene of any fire to control all the operations.
• The chief fire officer may permit the owner or occupier of any building to contact an automatic fire system to the brigade premises.
• The senior fire officer may enter or break into any premises within the city which appears to be on fire without consent from any person.
• A senior officer may temporarily close any street, passage or thoroughfare in or near which a fire exists.
• During the flight, a senior fire officer has the power to use any supply of water whether on public or private property.
• The council may at any time instruct the person to remove any material that is most likely to cause a fire.
• The owner should pay for fire fighting services whether the owner requested for the attendance or not.
• The chief fire officer will inspect premises to ensure they comply with fire safety.
What to do in case of fire:-
• Do not panic
• Sound the alarm (electronic or shout “fire”)
• Fight the fire if safe to do so.
• Call the fire brigade (2222181/2), giving the fire correct physical address (road/building name
telephone numbers and contacts).
• Evacuate using the acceptable route.
• Close windows and doors behind you (do not lock doors).
• Do not use lifts.
• Proceed to the assembly for headcount.
• Do not re-enter until told to do so.
• One can apply for a permit to the Town Clerk for authority to conduct hawking, giving particulars of goods and place of hawking.
• A hawker’s assistant permit may be issued to a person employed to assist the permit holder who hawks refreshments and is physically disabled or has a loss of limbs.
• The permit is not transferable to another person.
• Any person without a valid permit or hawks in an undesignated area risks having their goods impounded.
• Each person engaging in hawking must have a budge and wears it at a conspicuous place.
• Council officers have a right to inspect any goods/articles being hawked. Blocking an officer from performing that duty is an offense.
• Application of parking permit should be made Town Clark. The permit expires on 31st of December of the year it is issued.
• A parking permit must be displayed conspicuously on the matatu on which it is issued.
• Parking of any vehicle other than a matatu at a matatu terminus is an offense.
• The permit is not transferable to another vehicle.
• One needs a written authority of the Town Clark to establish a private matatu terminus.
• Matatu should only be parked at a matatu terminus and will only stop to pick or drop passengers at a designated bus stop.
• All matatus at terminus should be under the direction of an enforcement official.
• One should not drive more than 10km/hr into the terminus
• Importuning for passengers on the streets or terminus is an offense.
• A matatu abandoned at the terminus without adhering to the by-laws may be removed by an enforcement officer.
• If fees and expenses incurred in the removal of the matatu are not paid within 60 days from the day of removal, the council may dispose of it to cover outstanding fees and expenses.
• Six or more persons waiting to enter a matatu at a terminus or designated stopping place must form a queue. Hawking of goods at a matatu terminus without a permit of the council is illegal.
• All persons in a matatu terminus must follow directions and instructions of e enforcement or police offices.
No person in a matatu terminus should do the following:
• Obstruct a person from entering and alighting from a matatu
• Enter the matatu through elsewhere apart from the door.
• Obstruct a conductor or a driver from performing their duties
• Behave in a disorderly manner.
• Urinate in a public place.
• Interfere or molest anyone
• Cause any verbal disturbance or any abusive language.
• Litter or spit
6. Food shops and Stores
• One can apply for a permit to the Town Clark giving sufficient particulars of the shop.
• The permit expires on 31st December of the year it is issued.
• The Town Clark shall not issue a new permit if;
-The applicant is not a city resident.
-The shop or store does not comply with the council by-laws
• A person working in a food shop or store must have a valid medical certificate.
• Any person in the city should not trade in food unless he is in possession of an appropriate license or permit.
• Any health inspector has a right to inspect a registered food shop or store at any time.
• Blocking an office from doing that duty is an offense.
7.Licensing of Premises and Trades
• No person shall engage in any business at any premises within the jurisdiction of the Council unless such premises are permitted for the purpose.
• Business permits shall not be issued for businesses being carried out in a building where land and ground rent are owing.
• The council may issue or refuse a permit
• A permit fee shall be paid to the council which maybe revised from time to time.
• The amount of permit fees shall be paid to the council by charitable organization maybe exempted or reduced
• A permit maybe transferred by the holder to any person with prior concept of the council, accompanied by a fee which is subjected to revision
• Any person authorize by the town clerk may enter your premises at any time to inspect or inquire if the condition attached to this permit are being observed. Anyone who interferes shall be guilty of an offense.
• Every applicant for a single business permit shall produce a certificate for proof of payment or rates of the council.
• If any permit contravenes any of the conditions set out under section 165 of the Local Government or the Council, the council may refuse to grant or renew it.
• Consolidated permits will be issued to traders who conduct different businesses within the same premises.
• The Council shall levy fees and charges for the use of wayleaves, that is, land use for overhead, underground and ground level service lines for power lines, telephone lines, etc.
Fees and charges for quarrying shall be levied by the Council, and the person undertaking such activities will accept conditions set about reclamation, reinstatement and alternative use
• Any person carrying out business must obtain a business permit by the 31st march of current a trading year or maybe guilty or an offense
• A person doing a kiosk business shall not sleep overnight on the business premises.
• A cyber café shall be limited to a certain number of computer monitors determined by the Council depending on whether it is a small, medium or large business center.
8. Taxi Cab
• The Town Clerk shall receive the application form at least a month before the date on which the permit is intended to take effect.
• The Town Clerk shall issue, in addition to the permit in respect of which the application is made.
- In the case of a taxi cab permit, a permit bearing the number of the permit issued and the number of passengers and owners photography.
- In the case of a taxi cab driver’s permit, a badge bearing the permit, and issued and his photograph.
• Requires all taxi-cab drivers to wear the prescribed uniform when on duty.
• The Town Clerk shall refuse to issue and the Council may at any time cancel a permit if: In the case of a taxi permit:-
-The ownership is not Kenyan or is undercharged bankrupt.
-The issue of the permit is prohibited by these bylaws.
-The applicant fails to satisfy the Town Clerk that he is fit and proper to hold such a permit.
• A taxi cab driver’s license may not be issued if the applicant has been convicted for an
offense against the traffic act.
• No permit shall be transferred so as to apply for a vehicle other than that in respect of which the original application was made and the permit issued.
• Where a permit is surrendered on or before the 30th of June in any year, a refund half the fee thereof shall be made.
• Owners of the taxi cab shall be expected to take his vehicle for inspections after three months.
• Every taxi cab shall be provided with a taxi meter of a type approved by the City Engineer.
• The taxi meter and all fittings shall be so sealed that it shall not be practicable for any person to tamper with them except by breaking, damaging or permanently displacing the seals.
• All taxi drivers shall be required to behave in a civil and orderly manner and ensure the safety of all persons entering into or alighting from the vehicle.
• The council may from time to time by resolution designate an area to be a taxi rank.
• Any person who parks a vehicle other than a taxi cab in an area prescribed as a taxi rank shall be guilty of an offense.
9. Restaurant, Eating House and Snack Bar
• Application for new permit or license should be delivered to the Town Clerk not less than 30 days before the date, the trading period begins.
The permit expires on 31st of the year it is issued.
• In case of death bankruptcy or unsound of mind of a permit holder, the widow or the widower or the trustee or any other person approved by the Town Clerk in writing is to carry on the business without any transfer of permit.
• The restaurant kitchen design structure should be approved by the City Council.
• Adequate refrigeration should be provided for the maintenance of stored food.
• Every employer in the p[remise should:
- Keep him or herself clean always
-Refrain from spitting and smoking while cooking.
-Should cover any cut or bruise on an exposed part with a clean waterproof dressing.
• A permit holder should maintain the premise to the satisfaction of the customers.
• Any permit holder of a permit which does not correspond to the premise He is conducting his business from becomes guilty of an offense.
• A council officer has a right to inspect other premises. Blocking an Officer to do so is an offense.
• Every permit holder should place his permit at a conspicuous position in the premise.
• A permit should not allow any indecent behavior on the permitted premise.
• A permit holder should not sell any food which is not sound or wholesome.
• Every open air eating place should operate under the following requirements;-
The Council should approve it design structure and should contain adequate sanitary facilities.
• All persons carrying or handling the food must have medical certificates.
• The permit holder should provide adequate fire lighting facilities located strategically within the structure.
10. Public Lavatories
• A permit for operation is issued by the Town Clerk upon payment of suggested fees as may be gazetted by the City Council.
• The Council may partner with any person to provide public lavatory services at an agreed fee or enter into a lease agreement in mutually agreed terms for the management of public conveniences.
• An agreement under the above shall be reviewed after every 3 years, and may have among its conditions:-
• A requirement that the person managing the conveniences’ pay the utility bills involved in such management.
• A requirement that he pay to the Council a fee in the amount as may be agreed with the Council
• A person managing a convenience shall keep such convenience clean and hygienic
• A person who enters a convenience shall not;
• Enter any such convenience without first paying any fee which the Council may charge for its use.
• Willfully annoy or interfere any anyway with the privacy of any other person using the
• Willfully and improperly soil any part of the inconvenience.
• Write on, mark or otherwise change or damage any part of the convenience.
• Interfere with any other officer or any other person authorized to manage the convenience in the execution of his duties.
• The disposal of liquid waste from a mobile toilet should be hygienic and disposed of as directed by the Council.
11. Hamali Carts and Handcarts
• The City Council of Nairobi may from time to time control the traffic of Hamali carts in the streets.
• A person authorized by the Council to propel a Hamali or hand carts shall observe all traffic rules and these bylaws.
• A person who uses a Hamali or hand cart and causes or permits such cart to be used in contravention of the gazette schedule is guilty of an offense.
12. Medical Facilities
• No person, shall within the city, operate a maternity home, nursing home or other medical facilities unless he is in possessions of a valid permit granted by the Council.
• A permit shall expire on 31st December of the year issued.
• A permit is not transferable to another holder.
• Application for a permit should have:
-Name, address, and occupation for the application.
-Description of the premises and location of patients proposed to be accommodated on such.
-Number and qualifications of the persons proposed to be employed.
• Application for renewal of the permit shall be made on or before the 15th of October in each year.
• The Medical Officer of health may at all times enter and inspect the premises.
• In every medical facility, rooms shall be provided for use as a mortuary or incinerators.
• The permit holder shall not permit more people than those indicated in the permit.
• The permit holder shall maintain his premises in good order and condition, to the satisfaction of the Council.
• The permit holder shall keep a record of:
-All persons received into the premises.
-All operations carried out on the premises.
-All miscarriages occurring in the premises.
-All children born on the premises.
13.Sale of Ice Cream
• Ice-cream should not be sold or offered for sale within the city if it has not been manufactured in accordance with these by-laws.
• All ice-cream should be protected from dirt, dust or any other contamination during storage, distribution, and sale.
• Application of the permit should be made to the town clerk. The permit expires on 31st December of the year issued.
• The issued permit is not transferable to any other premises.
• An inspection may be done at any time by the Medical Officer of Health or a Public Health Officer.
• Every permit holder shall
-Maintain the premises clean at all times.
-Keep all utensils/vessels used for ice-cream storage, distribution or sale clean and sterilized
-Not employ any person suffering from infectious or contagious or venereal disease and in case of any infection, the medical officer of health should be notified immediately.
• A permit shall be produced any time it is required by the Medical Officer OF Health or Public Health Officer.
14 Private Schools
• A permit application should be made to the Town Clerk indicating:
-The name, address, and occupation of the applicant.
-The description of the premises proposed for the school.
-The number of persons proposed to be employed to teach and take care of the children.
-The number of students attending the proposed school.
• The permit shall expire on 31st December of the year issued.
• A permit is not transferable without the consent of the council.
• The permit holder should maintain the premise in good order and condition to the satisfaction of the Council.
• The permit holder should ensure at all times that the number of persons employed shall not be less than those specified in the permit.
• The Medical Officer of Health May at all reasonable times enter and inspect any permitted premises.
• The fee payable for the grant, renewal or transfer of a permit shall be gazette in the latest Council fee charges and premises.
• The occupier of any premises connected to the water company’s sewerage system shall pay to the company for the use of the system a fee of Kshs14.20 per litre per month.
• The occupier of any premises other than residence from which waste water passes into a waste water pit or conservancy tank shall pay in advance a fee of Ksh3000 for each emptying of the tank/pit.
• The occupier of any residence from which waste water passes to a waste water pit or conservancy tank shall pay a fee of Kshs3000 per month for regular emptying to the tank/pit.
• The occupier of any premises from which waste water passes to a septic tank shall pay Kshs3000 in advance for each emptying of the tank.
• Where premises have remained unoccupied for a period not less than 30 days, the company may make a refund or allowance for the fee charged during the period.
• Private exhausted services may be licensed at times to supplement the company.
• All waste after being discharged into the network shall comply with the company’s discharged guidelines.
• Anyone who has entered into an agreement to pay for the water supply will be considered as the premises occupier.
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