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Image shows Ivory Coast’s capital Abidjan, not Kisumu in Kenya

After facing decades of waste management challenges, Kisumu was voted the cleanest city in Kenya in 2019. Last month, an image emerged online purporting to show the lakeside town looking neat and tidy. But the claim is false: the photo shows Abidjan, the capital of Ivory Coast.

The post has generated more than 1,100 comments since it was published on Facebook on January 25, 2024.

<span>Screenshot of the false post, taken on January 31, 2024</span>
Screenshot of the false post, taken on January 31, 2024

“Kisumu city CBD under the patronage of baba Lupita Nyong'o. Cleanest city in Africa (sic),” reads the caption, which sparked debates about Kenya's infrastructure and governance among online users.

Baba Lupita Nyong’o is a Swahili term referring to the Kisumu county governor Peter Anyang' Nyong'o. His daughter is US-based actress Lupita Nyong’o (archived here).

The image in the post shows cars on a highway with a city in the background. Flags are mounted on each side of the road.

The same claim was shared elsewhere on Facebook.

Located on the shores of Lake Victoria, Kisumu is the East African country's third-largest city. Its water and rail connections have turned it into western Kenya's main commercial, industrial and transportation hub (archived here).

Kisumu County is a larger administrative region headquartered in Kisumu City (archived here).

In 2019, Kisumu was voted the cleanest city in the country by the Town and County Planners Association of Kenya (archived here).

The photo, however, does not show Kisumu.

Abidjan

A reverse image search revealed that the buildings featured in the post are not located anywhere in Kenya.

Rather, the photo is identical to an image found in a French-language article published by AFP in 2014. The caption identifies the General-de-Gaulle bridge, close to Abidjan's business centre in Ivory Coast (archived here).

The image is credited to photographer Sia Kambou and is available in the AFP archives.

<span>Screenshot showing the identical image taken from the AFP photo archive on February 1, 2024 </span>
Screenshot showing the identical image taken from the AFP photo archive on February 1, 2024

AFP Fact Check geolocated the General-de-Gaulle bridge and found a similar picture in black and white on Google Maps.

A side-by-side comparison of the photo in the false post and the picture on Google Maps shows matching features, including the flags, street lights, buildings and the “LaFibre” sign.

<span>A side-by-side comparison of the two images </span>
A side-by-side comparison of the two images

The flag of Ivory Coast consists of orange, white and green vertical stripes, the same ones on either side of the road into Abidjan (archived here).

<span>Screenshot showing the Ivory Coast flag </span>
Screenshot showing the Ivory Coast flag

Also, motorists drive on the right-hand side of the road in Ivory Coast, which is evident in the image of Abidjan. Motorists in Kenya drive on the left-hand side.

Below is an image showing a section of Kisumu’s central business district, as found on the county's official website.

<span>Screenshot showing the Kisumu city CBD taken from the Kisumu county website </span>
Screenshot showing the Kisumu city CBD taken from the Kisumu county website