Nairobi arboretum's toilets, jogging paths to be repaired by March - Beaking Kenya News

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Wednesday, 23 December 2020

Nairobi arboretum's toilets, jogging paths to be repaired by March


The Nairobi Arboretum Park’s jogging paths and toilets will soon be rebuilt to meet the needs of visitors.

Radisson Blu Hotel and Residence, Arboretum and the Kenya Forest Service under the Friends of Nairobi Arboretum have signed a Sh12 million deal for the project.

The forest service has engaged with the Community Forest Associations for similar projects.

Naema Construction director Naman Opiata, Radisson Blu Hotel and Residence, Arboretum chairman Rasik Kantaria and KFS deputy conservator Margret Wanjiru signed for their organisations on Tuesday.

Kantaria said the project will start in the first week of January 2021 and is expected to be ready for commissioning by early March.

"The park is a beehive of activity, especially during weekends and holidays. We need Nairobians to access good sanitation services at the park. Modernisation of paths will make them more accessible to even the disabled people," he said.

A recent inventory and assessment by the UN Habitat showed that public spaces in Nairobi, including the arboretum, are substandard.

The Habitat's report released in September said the design of, for instance, walkways, entrances and amenities such as toilets should promote access to and inclusivity in public spaces.

“In Nairobi, however, public spaces are not friendly to persons living with disability. Only 19.8 per cent of the public open spaces have inclusive infrastructure — pedestrian infrastructure that suits all users.”

In line with this, the state has targeted other green spaces, besides the arboretum, for revival. They include Karura Forest, City Park and Ngong Road Forest.

Most Nairobi parks have registered low visitation since the country was hit by the coronavirus, but KFS continues to register a huge influx of people visiting urban forests and green spaces.

Project chaperon Kantaria said the partnership is in line with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s speech on the World Environment Day when he urged stakeholders to partner to boost botanical diversity.

“This project, which is part of the hotel’s corporate social responsibility, will ensure the park’s botanical and zoological diversity is maintained. Our green spaces need to be well-preserved,” he said.

The Nairobi Arboretum was established in 1907 and currently has 30 hectares of forest coverage. It has more than 200 species of indigenous and exotic trees and plants.

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