Nairobians Ask Governor Sakaja To Create Orderly Business Environment At The Newly Opened Uhuru Park

The newly refurbished historic Uhuru Park ground was officially opened by the national government and handed over to Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja, who promised to create a conducive atmosphere for orderly business that will include hotels, shopping stalls, recreation, and other entertainment spots. Commenting after the handover of the park by the national government to the county, a section of Kenyans said the completion of renovations marked a milestone in the transformation of services in Nairobi since it also has a public transport terminus on its railway club side.

The newly refurbished Uhuru Park. Courtesy

“While we welcome the new-look ultra-modern Uhuru Park, we wish to urge Nairobi County to take advantage of this by relocating hawkers and other business stalls that have made vehicular and pedestrian movement in the CBD a waking nightmare, they said, adding that the park had in the past been infested by an army of street families who had polluted the grounds while some had taken to mugging pedestrians and even raping women, but now that will be a thing of the past considering the massive perimeter fence and the organized businesses expected to take root.

One of them said that he’d noted with satisfaction that the park had retained its green scenery as most of its trees had been left intact, something that many conservationists will have nothing to complain about given the ecology that the city needs to cope with the rapidly changing climate caused by global warming.

He said the park will, without doubt, create jobs as investors troop to the park to set up eateries like fruit parlours, restaurants, barber shops, and hair salons, adding that consideration should be given to those who were already doing business in the extensive park where Kenyans used to rest in the shade after a hard day’s work. For the jobless, it also provided ample opportunity to rest their limbs after a hard day of “tarmacking” looking for job opportunities.

In the early 1990s, attempts by the government to put up a 60-story building were thwarted by environmental crusaders who said the park would have been cleared of all trees, creating a serious ecological crisis in the city of Nairobi, whose slogan is the green city under the sun.

The government then shelved plans and appeared to abandon the park which ran into squalor until 2017, when work started to effect massive renovations that included a major public transport terminus and a lunar park. The county government needs to fully take advantage of the space to decongest the CBD by relocating some of the hawkers; pedestrians are risking their lives walking in the streets due to a lack of space as an army of hawkers takes over all pavements.