After years of neglect, Nakuru’s Nyayo Garden will receive a facelift, which includes erecting a perimeter fence in a move aimed at ensuring the town boasts of a premier recreational park.
Successive administrations at the local defunct municipal council let the once vibrant recreational facility slip into a state of disrepair and misuse that robbed it of the glory it enjoyed in the 1960s and 1970s.
“This program is meant to improve and change the face of the Nakuru as we gear for city status and to embrace the attraction site which for years has been neglected.
We will introduce water points, regulate the number of preachers, provide adequate street lighting and change the pebble walk paths,” said the county Governor Lee Kinyanjui.
In honour of the late celebrated Nobel laureate and environmentalist, the newly look recreational facility will host a Wangari Maathai Square complete with her five meter bronze statue.
The main entrance will face the Court Street with iconic bronze statue of two flamingoes each three meters tall.
Speaking Thursday during the ground breaking ceremony to rehabilitate the park, Kinyanjui said the Sh20 million project will also focus on environmental conservation and greening of Nakuru.
The Nyayo Garden, located within the Central Business District, is an invaluable facility to many local residents who frequent it to relax mostly during lunch hour breaks and over the weekends.
The park has in the past played host to state functions, historical political and religious rallies, cultural and social events.
An information desk will also be established at the park, once it is complete, to provide information to tourists, investors and residents about the county.
Athletes and jogging enthusiasts will also be able to use a race track inside the park to better their health.
He said the county will continue with efforts to change the fortunes of urban areas by ensuring they are clean and attractive to tourists and other investors.
The Governor said matters pertaining to the environment remain a priority for his government and a similar greenery and beautification project will also be undertaken in Naivasha and other urban areas.
He revealed that a similar park would be established in Naivasha town where a piece of land has already been identified and a tendering process for the park is already in place.
The Governor also assured residents that public participation forums will be held to seek views on the elevation of the town into a city.
“We recognize that public participation is vital in such a key project and as a result a public portal will be opened to receive views from residents on how we can make it better and the views will be incorporated into the plan,’ he said
“We however urge all residents to play their role through protection of the environment and use of designated garbage drop off points,” he added
The event was attended by several members of the County Executive including Eng. Festus Ng’eno (Water, Environment and Natural Resources), Joseph Kiuna (Education), Mwania Mwangangi (Public Service Management) and Lucy Kariuki(Roads).
Others who attended the function included Environment Director Muriithi Kiogora and area MCA Peter Wanyaguthie.
By Jane Ngugi