#TBT: 15 photos of an extremely young Nairobi
A little more than a century ago, Nairobi was nothing more than a seasonal swamp at the edge of a forest. It had nothing much to show save for a variety of wild animals and endless tracts of grazing land.
On several occasions between 1902 and 1906 the colonial government had considered abandoning the site as a township in favour of the highland town, Kikuyu.
The name “Nairobi” comes from the Maasai phrase ‘Enkare Nyrobi’, which translates to “cool water”.
The area Nairobi currently occupies was essentially uninhabited swamp until a supply depot of the Uganda Railway was built by the British in 1899 linking Mombasa to Uganda.
The location of the camp was chosen due to its central position between Mombasa and Kampala. It was also chosen because its network of rivers could supply the camp with water.
Additionally, its elevation would make it cool enough for residential purposes for not only the thousands of Indian laborers who came to Kenya seeking to be employed to work on the railway line, but also for the British settlers.
With such an apt location, it soon grew big enough to become the railway’s headquarters.
The city was first incorporated in 1900 as the Township of Nairobi. The regulations governing it were published on the 16th April, 1900.
Nairobi has through ages witnessed massive infrastructural, economic, social and political growth.
Below are some photos taken during the city’s revolution phases:
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