What you need to know:
- While opening the rehabilitated John Michuki Memorial Park, named after the former environment minister (now deceased) who pioneered the reclaiming of the park, Mr Kenyatta said the recreation centre was only the first in a series of environmental rehabilitation programmes his government has initiated, not only in Nairobi, but also across the country.
President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday announced a national clean-up campaign and restoration of forests and recreation centres for beautification and regeneration of the environment.
The tough-talking Head of State ordered chiefs to ensure that such ecosystems and general environment in their jurisdiction is clean and cared for, further threatening to sack administrators who fail to implement the projects.
Cleaning up Kenya
While opening the rehabilitated John Michuki Memorial Park, named after the former environment minister (now deceased) who pioneered the reclaiming of the park, Mr Kenyatta said the recreation centre was only the first in a series of environmental rehabilitation programmes his government has initiated, not only in Nairobi, but also across the country.
“We are launching national campaigns towards a common goal of cleaning up Kenya. The programmes will be piloted in Nairobi and take effect September 1,” said Mr Kenyatta at the now aesthetic park.
“It is anchored on national government administration officers who should work together. It also fits well with the Kazi Mtaani programme for which we have already set aside Sh10 billion,” he added.
Mr Kenyatta tasked the Ministry of Interior, headed by Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi, to come up with a formula to run a successful clean-up exercise that will see chiefs undertake a pro-active role.
“Chiefs, it’s your duty to ensure your spaces are clean. Those who implement it well will be promoted. But if you can’t, we will find other people willing to do so,” he warned.
Work to transform the 26-acre Michuki Park was undertaken by the Ministry of Environment in conjunction with the Nairobi Metropolitan Services and the National Environment Management Authority (Nema). It started in April.
Nearly 3km of walkways have been set up, as well as a nursery which will be supplied with indigenous trees. Public toilets have also been built, plans are also underway for a café and an open Amphitheatre for public performances.
Den of thieves
Before 2008, when the late Michuki fronted the idea to restore the area, more than two thirds of the land was largely unattended and was used as an illegal dumpsite. A perimeter fence was erected, which Mr Kenyatta said would keep of gangs of thieves from hiding at the facility, and contribute in keeping the city safe.
In June, Uaso Nyarobe Waterfront Ltd claimed ownership of a section of the park.
Environment CS Keriako Tobiko however told off the little-known company.
The government has now shifted focus to spruce up other green spaces including City Park, Uhuru Park, and Central Park as well as Jeevanjee Gardens.
City Park, which had for years been managed by the county government, was recently taken over and is under the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) following a directive by the national government.