A recent Presidential Directive to reclaim and rehabilitate public green spaces has seen state departments make new waves of development in executing the directive across the County, faster than ever witnessed
Fig. Hon. Keriako Tobiko touring the Murumbi Memorial Garden accompanied by Mr. Julius Kamau, Chief Conservator of Forests, FoCP members and other stakeholders [Photo:KFS]
The Agikuyu’s Kihara Clan originally bequeathed Nairobi’s City Park in 1903 for use by the public. A man named Kirongo, who expressed a wish to preserve the forest, is said to have left a spell to protect it. More power to these spirits and long may their curses preserve City Park!
Kenya Forest Services officially took over the management of City Park from Nairobi City County Government (NCCG) on 10 June 2020 at a public event led by the Ministry of Environment & Forestry Cabinet Secretary (CS), Hon. Keriako Tobiko
The CS then constituted a taskforce that included inter alia Friends of City Park (FoCP), National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS), Kenya Forest Service (KFS), National Museums of Kenya (NMK) and Kenya Forest Research Institute (KEFRI), all represented during the handover event. The task-force then toured the park and laid out the broad outlines of a master-plan
Friends of City Park were widely applauded and acknowledged for their resilience over the last 23 years in fighting for the park’s existence and identified as central to future efforts for protect, restore and rehabilitate the park
Hon. Keriako Tobiko acknowledged this fact at the event saying, “Friends of City Park will continue playing a central role in the management, conservation, and in the protection of this park
These developments present an opportunity to realize FoCP’s vision for the park: in 30 years, City Park shall still be in existence and in fact enhanced to rival its past glory. It shall remain The People’s Park, free and accessible to all. It shall be the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, a peaceful place to rest and unwind
The Friends of City Park shall reassess their strategic role in the “new” City Park and envisages playing a central role in helping KFS and other stakeholders in the park’s rehabilitation and conservation while co-managing the park alongside KFS.
Whatever role FoCP plays in future, one point remains true and ever so important; that there would be no City Park in Nairobi today had it not been for the efforts and resilience of the Friends of City Park since inception in 1996
–by Karimi Kimathi