The re-structuring of old and disused underground cereal silos into a recreational centre has become the magnetic pull for local and international tourists in Nakuru city.
The Chairman of the Nakuru Tourism Association, David Mwangi, says the underground silos, which belong to the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) were constructed using the Cyprus technology of storing grains in early 1970.
Mwangi however, said they were never used, due to numerous cracks and the difficulty of pouring cereals into the underground silos.
He said since then they have been lying idle and occupying NCPB prime land, on the western side of the city.
Mwangi last year managed to clinch a deal with the NCPB to reconvert and remodel the silos into a recreational site with a playing ground for children, restaurants, a swimming pool, a gym, and indoor games.
The recreational centre was renamed Cyprus Park, which captured the imagination of local revelers and the primary question they always ask is the reason for naming them after a foreign country.
Mwangi said patrons proceed to inquire about the reason for the construction of underground ‘holes’ by the government, and to answer the queries, he has to give lengthy explanations.
Despite the over seven acres of land having lain fallow with unusable silos, there are those who accuse, him of having ‘grabbed’ government land. But, he has documents of the rigorous process he went through to be allowed to use the facilities.
Prior, to the procurement of the silos, the chairman said the NCBP, had tried several times to get local engineering companies to demolish, the monuments. But the price was always astronomical.
He said, his greatest excitement was the fact that it has become a titanic and vast tourist attraction for both local and international tourists, next to the Lake Nakuru National Park.
Mwangi said the remodeling of the silos was not only an expensive affair but a process that would only be undertaken by, an entrepreneur, who uses ‘inside eyes’ to see opportunities that others can’t see.
He added that even schools have started sending students to Cyprus Park, as part of the school tours.
By Veronica Bosibori