President Uhuru Kenyatta and Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko have made a public declaration to restore Nairobi City to its former glory. Speaking during the official opening of the rehabilitated Michuki Park on Friday evening, Uhuru said that this was the initial stage of restoring the soul of the capital.
“We can restore the former glory of our great city of Nairobi, to what was referred to as the “green city in the sun,” He said, adding that ” a city is not great because of its lofty and towering brick-and-motor assets. A city is great because its citizens are great; and its environment is great.”.
Similarly, Governor Sonko noted that Multi Stakeholder effort is key in restoration.” The work that has gone into beautification of this park and the results we see today show that it is possible to reclaim the entire Nairobi River ecosystem”
The restoration of the park to its initial look, now brings to an end criminal activities that had been taking place there. It has been transformed into a serene scenic park leading to re- emergence of birds. The stretch of the river cutting the park is now supporting aquatic life with the black water now being clear
However, Governor Sonko now wants another bridge to erected in the park to allow pedestrians access the park and the city from the National Museum. ” I am proposing the construction of a ffot bridge between Michuki park and the museum hill round about behind National Museum to allow easy access to the park and promote non motorized transport” Sonko proposes.
Clean Kenya Campaign.
The President also announced the piloting of Clean Kenya Campaign in Nairobi to be held on September 1st. The campaign will see citizens, private and public sector players mobilized to conduct cleaning, conservation and restoration activities.
“We did not enforce the civic responsibility of the citizen to take care of the green spaces. And the citizens of Nairobi city were not organized enough to protect it. Because of this, and the rapid growth of ‘concrete spaces’ over the ‘green spaces’, there was a collapse of civic order and national duty in the city.” Uhuru said.
The campaign shall be anchored on the National Government Administration Officers at the local level. Uhuru noting that there will be strict supervision to ensure adherence and poor performers will be sanctioned.
The park which was initially known as the Mazingira Park was renamed to Michuki Park by the Ministry of Environment in 2012, in honor of the late John Michuki. He is remembered as having viciously led in efforts to reclaim grabbed land parks in the city.
Apart from Michuki park, other parks targeted for rehabilitation are: the Nairobi Arboretum, Karura Forest, City park and Ngong Road Forest. This will be done in an effort to meet a target of 10 per cent forest cover by end of the year.