Help preserve City Park, State told

Caretakers of the Nairobi City Park have warned that developers are still clearing the area for development despite the National Land Commission (NLC) revoking irregular allocations.

Nairobi City Park Service Company Chief Executive Officer John Mburu said NLC had revoked titles irregularly issued to private developers but sections of the park were still being destroyed.

“Sixty-nine hectares in the Nairobi City Park had been allocated to private developers and companies but the NLC revoked the titles, much to our delight, but as you can see there are sections of the park being cleared for construction,” said Mr Mburu.

Mburu urged both the county and national governments to help preserve the park, saying they have been trying to get a licence from the National Environmental Management Authority to rehabilitate the park to no avail.

He spoke as Eco-plan and the African Youth Initiative on Environmental Change yesterday criticised private developers for trying to grab land in the park.

Speaking at the park, Eco-plan’s environmental consultant Elizabeth Nzani warned private developers to keep off the park, saying: “This is a public park and every person living in Nairobi should be able to access it.”

She said since Uhuru and Jevanjee parks were usually crowded, City Park was the next best alternative. The two groups had converged at the park to plant tree to mark World Environment Day.

“We applied for a licence a year ago but it seems our plea fell on deaf ears. We need the licence in order for us to rehabilitate the park,” said Mburu.

National heritage

Their major source of revenue is the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, which signed a memorandum of understating with the national government, the county government and the Ministry of State for National Heritage and Culture to rehabilitate the park.

The trust has rehabilitated parks in India, Cairo, Mali and Zanzibar.  Some Sh2.5million is needed to rehabilitate City Park.

“We are embarking on a two-month campaign aimed at preserving City Park and we would like to invite all, even the politically willed, to come and join us. We took up the initiative as the youth because we want the park to survive into the future,” said African Youth Initiative on Climate Change programme co-ordinator Lumumba Ngomo.