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6 common challenges Nairobians have to deal with everyday in the CBD

Many residents have developed coping strategies to navigate these urban realities

A photo of the Nairobi CBD

Nairobi is known for its vibrant culture, diverse population, and rapid urbanization. However, the city also faces challenges that can leave residents and visitors shaken.

From pickpocketing to harassment by street children, Nairobi's urban realities can be both unsettling and eye-opening for many.

In this article, we explore some of the experiences people have undergone in Nairobi that have left them shaken and examine how individuals and the community are navigating these challenges.


One of the most common experiences that leave people shaken in Nairobi is falling victim to pickpocketing or theft.

Public transport, markets, and crowded streets are hotspots for such incidents. Residents often report losing valuable items like phones, wallets, and purses in a matter of seconds.

The fear of being targeted creates a sense of vulnerability, leading many to be on high alert in public spaces.


Nairobi's streets are home to a large number of street children, who often resort to aggressive begging or petty theft to survive.

While some individuals express sympathy for the street children's plight, others have reported instances of harassment, including being followed, grabbed, or even threatened.

These encounters can be distressing and leave a lasting impact on people's perceptions of safety in the city.


Mugging and assault are additional concerns in Nairobi, especially in certain areas after dark.

Incidents of armed robbery and carjacking have been reported, leading to a heightened sense of fear and insecurity among residents.

Many take precautions such as avoiding specific neighborhoods, using taxis or rideshare services instead of public transport at night, and keeping valuables out of sight.

Nairobi has also seen its share of fraud and scams, from fake currency and counterfeit products targeting unsuspecting individuals.


These deceptive practices can result in significant financial losses and emotional distress, particularly for those who may already be struggling economically.

While not directly linked to crime, traffic congestion and road accidents in Nairobi can also leave individuals shaken.


The city's traffic jams can lead to frustration and delays, while road accidents—sometimes involving pedestrians—can cause injuries and fatalities. Navigating Nairobi's roads requires vigilance and caution.

While street vendors and hawkers contribute to Nairobi's vibrant economy, some people find their presence disruptive, especially in crowded areas where they set up makeshift stalls.

Disputes with local authorities and clashes with pedestrians can create tension and lead to confrontations.


Despite these challenges, Nairobi remains a dynamic and diverse city with much to offer. Many residents have developed coping strategies to navigate these urban realities, such as taking precautions to protect their belongings and avoiding high-risk areas.


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