Just a few years ago, Ngong Town was a narrow lane of unpainted, seemingly unplanned shops, littered with garages full of broken-down trucks and water bowsers, non-existent sidewalks occupied by both human and bike traffic, with a chaotic bus station, next to a dilapidated market that used plastic papers for roofing. It was a state that lasted many years. It was not a pleasant sight.
Fast forward to 2022, and Ngong seems to be rising from the slumber of its sorry state to a town that is holding its own as a developing Centre with great economic potential.
Quite a few developments within Ngong Town and the environs have conspired to change Ngong Town’s look and feel.
- The Milele Mall
Milele was the first and is the only mall in Ngong Town. It was one of the places that first gave Ngong residents a feeling of rising from obscurity. Owned by the PCEA Church, the mall houses the eateries Chicken Inn, Creamy Inn and Pizza Inn . It also houses a chemist, banks / ATM, the Safaricom customer service shop, a Bata shop as well as Kenya Power Ngong Office. It was also home to Tuskys Supermarket before the supermarket chain closed shop across Kenya.
- Ngong Train Station
A lovely feature and a source of pride for Ngong residents, the Ngong Railway Station is situated a short drive from Ngong town and offers an additional transport option for those living in and around Ngong. A train ride from the station to the Nairobi Station takes only 1 hour. There is a parking area for those who wish to leave their vehicles at the station and retrieve them on the return journey. On the opposite side from Nairobi is a train ride to Maai Mahiu and Suswa.
- Banks and Petrol Stations
While for many years the most prominent banks in town were Barclays Bank (now Absa) and Cooperative Banks, today Ngong residents have a wide range to choose from including Equity Bank, SMEP, Diamond Trust, and new entrants Kenya Commercial Bank and NCBA. Equally encouraging is the entry into Ngong by well known petrol station brands including Shell, with two petrol stations in and around Ngong as well as Total Energies. Rubis has already converted one petrol station in Bulbul to its brand and is in the process of rebranding another within Ngong (previously Kobil).
- Ngong Market
The Ksh 700 million 4-storey market sits on a one acre piece of land and was funded by the World Bank through the Nairobi Metropolitan Services Improvement Programme (NAMSIP). Its iconic stature has drastically changed the face of Ngong.
- New Buildings and Businesses
Structural developments within Ngong Town have made the town attractive to investors and businesses of all sizes are now locating in and around Ngong overcoming the need for shoppers to travel to Nairobi or Karen to get their shopping needs met. Naivas Supermarket chain has two stores within the larger Ngong; one in the Vet Area and another within Ngong Town. The one within Ngong Town is located in a newly established building that borrows its name from the Town – Ngong Towers.
A short distance from Ngong Town is Suswa Plaza, a relatively new development that has facilitated the growth of the area it is located in, known as Zambia. Close by and also in Zambia Area is Kony House, another relatively recent entrant into the surrounding Ngong landscape.
One of the businesses that have come up as a result of the growth of Zambia and the surrounding area is BOLD Industrial and Domestic Solutions Ltd, a Tools and Equipment shop. BOLD Industrial is located opposite Suswa Plaza, in Unit G2 of Gatitu House. Gatitu House is next to Appleton School, another small business situated in Zambia Area of Ngong.
BOLD Industrial & Domestic Solutions Ltd's Tools Shop in Gatitu House, just outside Ngong Town
BOLD Industrial, as the company is popularly referred to, carries a wide range of tools from popular brands including Bosch, Makita, Stanley, Black & Decker, Dewalt, INGCO etc. These tools include cordless and corded drill machines, grinding machines, cutting and grinding discs, welding machines and welding rods, spanners and pliers, hammers and spades. The company also carries a range of personal protective clothing that include gloves, safety / reflective jackets, helmets, welding goggles, safety boots among others. Other products that are stocked by BOLD Industrial include solar lighting products as well as solar batteries. The shop caters to the needs of the professional trademen as well as the DIYer.
The above list of developments within and around Ngong is not exhaustive.
A view of Ngong Hills
Ofcourse there are traditional attractions such as the Ngong Hills, popular with hikers and walkers and also solace seekers from as far as Nairobi. The energy producing wind turbines operated by KENGEN on Ngong Hills are a sight to behold. In addition, the construction of the Ngong – Suswa Road will provide a gateway to exploration of the Suswa / Narok region of the country.
It can be expected that as Ngong continues to grow and expand and the population continues to increase, the town will continue to draw more interest from investors and visitors alike.