Kenya unveils draft rules for naming streets

Thursday June 29 2017
street adv

City streets will soon be classified based on use and importance. PHOTO FILE | NATION


Kenya has released draft standards for naming and numbering streets and properties as part of efforts towards reducing the cost of doing business and enhancing revenue collection.

The proposed rules prohibit the use of names of living persons including politicians, and require all existing historical road names that do not comply with the proposed benchmarks be abolished.

It also abolishes changes to existing street names until there is a valid reason to prove that name duplication has occurred or pronunciation of the street name is difficult and can cause confusion.

The effective date for the name change will be gazetted while a street for which a new name has been approved will get new signage within 90 days.

Temporary structures like kiosks, container shops and wooden structures have been exempted from the numerical addressing.

According to the proposed guidelines, the Cabinet Secretary responsible for information and communications through the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), shall have oversight responsibility regarding the national policy and standards on street-naming and property numbering.


County governments shall be responsible for the implementation of the project at the county level.

The move is meant to facilitate the identification and location of properties or dwellings on the ground and enable provision of goods and services by the government and private sector.

It is also meant to reduce the cost of doing business by enhancing delivery of cargo, boosting trade and helping tax authorities identify businesses and their precise locations for purposes of taxation.

The standards limit street names to 22 characters and bar duplication of names and use of those with similar pronunciation but different spelling in a city.

City streets will be classified in terms of use and importance into first, second and third order levels, and the most important streets will be given the most important names.

These standards were developed by Kenya’s National Addressing System (NAS) Strategy Development and Implementation Committee in collaboration with a consultant.