, MACHAKOS, Kenya, Feb 7 – Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua on Friday opened the county’s first recreational grounds, named Machakos People’s Park.
The park which cost an estimated Sh20 million is home to the continent’s first field amphitheatre and is expected to generate upwards of Sh100 million for the county annually.
“We plan to make Machakos County the tourism hub of Kenya so as to generate wealth to enable us to transform the lives of our people,” Mutua said at the opening.
The 40-acre park which sits right on the edge of the New Machakos City site will also be home to the county’s first public swimming pool and includes the Maruba dam on which visitors can go boat riding on the five-seater MV Machakos.
The county however plans to use conference tourism to generate most of its income from the park, “We want this to be a place where people come, set up a tent and have a conference,” Mutua publicised.
Adding that the park will also be open for wedding parties and live performances; the first of which will take place over the Valentine’s weekend.
“The park will be officially open to the public from February 14 when a free, three day entertainment extravaganza will kick off,” he publicised.
There are currently no gate charges but even after they take effect, the Governor assured children will get in free.
“There are water fountains for them to look at, there’s a play area, plenty of room to run, a restaurant and we plan on having miniature golf. So there’s plenty to see and do,” he assured.
The Governor said 10,000 Machakos residents had already benefited from the park, in the form of employment, as it was being set up.
“This park has mostly been built not using machinery but by hand. We decided that we wanted to employ as many people as possible so as to transfer the money not to big companies but to my people,” he said.
And as he plans to set up similar parks in all the towns of Machakos county, the governor plans on benefitting from the Machakos People’s Park himself.
“I’ve been spending a lot of time her, day and night, but I’ll also be spending a lot of time here, sitting on one of the park benches reflecting and enjoying myself.”