30 November 2012

Kenya: Future Nairobians Will Thank the Aga Khan

THE Aga Khan Trust yesterday finalised an agreement with Nairobi City Council to rehabilitate City Park.

The cost of rehabilitation will run into tens of millions of dollars but it is very worthwhile investment.

The 60 hectare park in Parklands provides a recreational space that can be accessed by millions of Nairobians who otherwise have few places to relax.

Today the park is insecure and overgrown, with a congested market (that should somehow be retained) along the roadside.

Africa is rapidly urbanizing. By 2030, more than half of all Kenyans will live in cities. Their quality of life will be very poor unless they have easy access to green spaces.

Nairobi has done very well to retain Karura Forest and now to luckily secure support to rehabilitate City Park.

But in future, the City Council should block all commercial redevelopment of recreational green spaces such as the railway golf course in downtown Nairobi.

When Nairobi is a megalopolis of 20 million people, as one day it will be, residents will thank the foresight of leaders like the Aga Khan who helped preserve the few green spaces at the centre of the concrete jungle.

Quote of the day: "Every man desires to live long, but no man wishes to be old." - Irish writer Jonathan Swift (Gulliver's Travels) was born on November 30, 1667.

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