Hands off Uhuru Park – The green heart and Kenyan city jewel

October 22, 2019

Hands off Uhuru Park – The green heart and Kenyan city jewel

By: Mrs. Marion Kamau, Chair of the Board, 22nd October 2019

Gazetted and Opened to the public by the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta on 23 May 1969, Uhuru Park is phenomenal with the evolution of the Kenyan state. Located adjacent to the central business district of Nairobi, Kenya on 12.9-hectare space, this park is the most cherished and accessible recreational park. It contains an artificial lake, several national monuments, a popular skateboarding spot and an assembly ground that is used for occasional political and religious gatherings. The iconic Nyayo Statue and Mau-Mau -Freedom fighters monument are located here.

In 1989, the Late Professor Wangari Maathai, the Kenyan environmentalist, Nobel Peace Laureate, and founder of the Green Belt Movement, successfully campaigned to save and redeemed it from the proposed excision and constructions. It’s also the sanctuary to the Freedom Corner where the Eco-warrior, Prof. Maathai led successful led protests that culminated in the release of all political prisoners.

Ecologically the park serves as the lungs of over 4 million Nairobi residents, shielding them from the silent killer of today (air pollution), it’s also a green space that reduces ambient heat in cities, mitigates the effects of other forms of pollution and absorbs greenhouse gases. It continues to be an invaluable haven in the heart of downtown Nairobi. Indeed Uhuru Park act as simple but socially vital safety valves for ordinary men and women to release some of the pressures of daily life in the city-especially for those who've left rural areas for the promise of more and better-paid work in the city and find themselves living in treeless informal settlements or featureless tower.

The Green Belt Movement has and remains acutely alert to the full preservation and conservation of such monuments of our heritage across all the Counties. We do this selflessly for the public good and to the unborn future generations.

Information within our purview has hinted of planned major road infrastructural development that will pass through the vital section s of the park. The Green Belt Movement thus as steward and champion of sustainable conservation of green spaces resolutely SAYS a big NAY to such proposed plan.

We are thus making a clarion call to all patriotic and green-conscious Kenyans to rally behind GBM as we petition the relevant authorities on this matter.