Since the reclamation, rehabilitation and beautification of Michuki Memorial Park, there has been a daily increase in number of visitors of between 300 to 500, Environment Cabinet Secretary (CS) Keriako Tobiko has said.
Speaking on Friday during a webinar meeting at the Park, Keriako lauded the multi-agency effort that culminated in the restoration of the Green Spaces in Nairobi.
“Green spaces is an integral part of our present and future, as attested by the huge numbers of visitors to the Park for recreation, climatic regulation but also for health, wellbeing and meditation during the Covid-19 lock down,” said Tobiko.
During the inauguration of the Park, the President directed that all the green spaces in Nairobi and other metropolises must be protected and reserved for public use under the Greening Kenya Initiative.
“Green space is not idle space and should be protected from greed and corrupt malpractices such as grabbing,” the CS cautioned, adding that the multi-agency team is committed to addressing the threats to green spaces that included among others infrastructural development, encroachment and negligence.
“There is therefore need to create a balance between infrastructural development and environment conservation. This calls for embracing green technology that incorporates green buildings and vertical forest for sustainable development,” said Tobiko.
On the ongoing construction of the Nairobi Expressway, the CS said that for every tree cut down, the contractor must plant five trees at a strategic site identified by the Ministry.
“The need for green space cannot be underscored,” the CS pointed out insisting that it is imperative that concerted efforts between the Ministry and stakeholders is employed towards the reclamation, rehabilitation and beautification of green space areas in Nairobi.
The targeted areas include City Park, Central and Uhuru parks, Jevanjee and Jamhuri Parks and Ngong Road forest, adding that this initiative would be replicated.
The Michuki Park will dedicate a special site for children and nature. Similarly, it will also provide a conducive environment for students to read, host events and photo shoots for weddings and graduations.
Speaking at the same meeting, the Executive Director, UN Habitat Maimuna Sharif applauded the Government’s commitment to restore Nairobi’s lost glory as the Green City in the Sun through the Public Private People Partnership (PPPP) approach and pledged UN Habitat’s continued support.
In an endeavor to encourage public participation, the Executive Director pledged the support of USD 80,000 to empower communities in the environmental protection projects.
The virtual meeting was co-organized by UN-Habitat in collaboration with the Daima Green Spaces consortium and partners and brought together local and national government, learning and implementing partners across the public and private sectors, the academia, civil society organizations, youth organizations, and development partners.
By Joseph Ng’ang’a