An ambitious campaign that seeks to restore Nairobi’s green spaces has been launched in what President Kenyatta says is a rebirth of the soul of Kenya’s capital.
Speaking on Friday during the launch of the refurbished Hon John Michuki Memorial Park in Nairobi, President Kenyatta said the cleaning Kenya campaign which will be piloted in Nairobi County will kick off on the 1st of September this year.
The campaign that will see Kenyans mobilized to clean their country will be coordinated by the ministries of interior and that of environment and will be anchored on national government administration officials who will be required to work together with local communities in the conservation and management of the environment.
“The campaign shall be anchored by the national government administration officers at the local level who shall work together with the local communities and stakeholders both within and outside government to enhance environmental restoration, conservation and management,” said President Kenyatta.
The President encouraged chiefs to integrate marginalized and vulnerable groups in the programme even as he warned government officers who will not deliver on the programme of consequences.
“There will be a continuous review of the programme with the best performers rewarded and non-performers sanctioned.” The president said.
The President saying that the campaign fits well with the Kazi Mtaani programme with the new initiative expected to complement ongoing efforts.
This even as he reiterated the government’s commitment to realize the country’s ambition of a ten per cent forest cover by the end of the year.
“We are gathered here to demonstrate to both the naysayers and the optimists that it can be done. That we can restore the glory of the great city of Nairobi to what was once referred to as the great city in the Sun.” the President observed.
Describing green spaces as the lungs of the city, President Kenyatta said the restoration of the Michuki Park is in line with resolutions of the Nairobi declaration on the environmentally sound management of electrical and electronic waste agreed on during the eighth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal held in 2006.
Among the green spaces targeted for reclamation include the Nairobi arboretum, Karura forest, Central Park, Uhuru Park, Ngong Road forest among others that have suffered neglect over the years.
The 26-acre Michuki Park, which has since been reclaimed boasting of a footbridge connecting the two sides of the park as well as walkways and public ablution blocks, had been turned into a criminals hideout with two-thirds of the land largely unattended and used illegally as a dumpsite.
The rehabilitation of the Michuki Park exercise brought together the Ministry of Environment and Forestry and its State Agencies led by Kenya Forest Service, KEFRI and NEMA.
The Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, Nairobi Metropolitan Service, National Museums of Kenya were also involved.
Kenya Forest Service led by the Chief Conservator of Forests Mr Julius Kamau now takes up responsibility for everyday running and management of the park.