Kericho’s Uhuru Gardens reopens to public after Sh16m renovation

Kericho Governor Paul Chepkwony gives flowers to Kericho residents during the Uhuru Garden reopening ceremony. [Nikko Tanui, Standard]

Kericho’s Uhuru Gardens which had been closed for more than two years has been reopened and is now accessible to the public for recreation.

Governor Paul Chepkwony said the public park, located in the central business district, had been closed for a Sh16 million facelift funded by the World Bank under the Kenya Urban Support Programme (KUSP).

“The works undertaken include construction of a perimeter wall, washrooms, walkways, hand washing stations, erection of public seats and planting of flowers and other beautification programmes,” he said.

Mr Chepkwony added: “Public spaces around the world are becoming fewer, yet public parks are important recreational places. Kericho residents, nonetheless, can take pride in the fact that they now have a serene garden where they can rest whenever they want to take a break from their hustle and bustle.” 

Speaking during the reopening ceremony, the governor pointed out that around the perimeter wall from the outside, cabro paving blocks were laid down and an elaborate parking lot created for motorists.

The governor said besides the Sh16 million used for the refurbishment of the park, the World Bank had extended another Sh500 million to the county government for other development projects.

“Sh265 million of the amount is being used to construct a modern Kericho Market near the Kericho Green Stadium, construction of a fire station in Kapsuser as well as the purchase of a firefighting truck,” said Chepkwony.

The funds have also been channeled towards the tarmacking of the road from the Catholic Cathedral to Kericho town, parking spaces, drainages, and footpaths within the town.

The governor, who also unveiled a water bowser for Kericho Water and Sanitation Company (KEWASCO), said he would ensure the Sh1.7 billion Kimugu water project funded by the German Development Bank was completed before the August General election.

Lands and Environment executive Barnabas Ngeno said the park had been handed over to the Kericho Town Municipality, and its manager would be in charge of the day-to-day running of the facility. “The manager will be in charge of ensuring the cleanliness of the park and the provision of security,” he said.

Kenya Plantation and Agricultural Workers Union (Kpawu) branch executive Dickson Sang and a member of the Moi and Uhuru Gardens Users Association, termed the reopening of the park a relief to tea workers.

“The union usually pays a fee to use the gardens, and we are now happy that the gardens have been refurbished and that the next time we hold a meeting there we are assured of services such as security,” he said.

Kipchebor MCA Erick Bett said the assembly’s implementation committee was satisfied with the works done.

He used the opportunity to present the town’s business community members to be allowed an opportunity to construct shops along the garden’s boundary.

“Such an opportunity will allow the county to earn revenue and at the same time support startup businesses, whose owners cannot afford to rent spaces in big commercial buildings,” he said.