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Uhuru Park's closure upsets holidaymakers

By Pkemoi Ngenoh | October 3rd 2021

A family from Kayole, Nairobi who were caught unawares. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

Nairobians who have been frequenting Uhuru Park to have fun with families during the weekends have now been forced to seek alternatives venues.

The Park was closed by Nairobi Metropolitan Services last week for rehabilitation after Nairobi County Assembly passed a motion that will also see adjacent Central Park get a face-lift.

On Sunday, both the parks in the heart of the city are usually but yesterday hundreds of residents were caught unawares having arrived with children in tow.

The closure coincided with a one-week school holiday.

“I was not aware that the park has been closed, I wanted to have fun with the children before they go back to school, “Margaret Njenga, a resident in Ongata Rongai said. She said it is usually their family tradition to visit Uhuru Park or other amusement parks during the weekends. 

A matatu driver from Kayole who was also not aware the park was closed said he usually takes his family to the park every Sunday which is the only day he manages to hang out with his children and wife.

Also locked out are several traders who had been making money during the weekends among them boat owners, hawkers, and face painters.

Joseph Maina, who has build a career at Uhuru Park for the last 20 years said the closure has left him with fewer options and doesn’t know how he will survive for the time the park remains closed. 

“The park had been totally neglected. The last time it was repaired was over 10 years ago. Back then, everything was in order, including the fountains but as you can see, the area is dirty,” he said.

Another trader Albert Njreu said; “We hope NMS will consider us when offering  manual jobs like planting grass as we wait for the facelift to be completed.”

NMS Director-General Maj Gen Mohamed Badi recently said NMS intends to complete the renovation before Christmas to change the park into a modern facility.

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