, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 29 – The government on Wednesday revealed plans to establish a recreational park around Globe Cinema, in honour of the late Environment Minister John Michuki.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga said the park would be named the John Michuki Memorial Park and would be an undertaking by the private sector.
He added that the government would set aside Sh5 million to facilitate the cause but at the same time calling on Kenyans to contribute towards its creation.
“We encourage all Kenyans regardless of their income to contribute to the development of the memorial park. The government will on its part devote Sh5 million,” he said.
Odinga further explained that the project would be managed by prominent members of the business sector, who would also spearhead a drive to raise funds for it.
Equity Bank CEO James Mwangi, Sameer Group Chairman Naushad Merali, Kenya Commercial Bank CEO Martin Oduor, KENCO CEO Nick Nesbit, Muhoho Kenyatta and Wanja Michuki have been listed as those who will spearhead the project.
“Environment Permanent Secretary Ali Mohammed will serve as an ex-officio member to provide all necessary assistance,” explained the PM.
He also announced that the government would complete the clean up exercise of Nairobi River and extend the initiative to Ngong and Mathare rivers.
He said that the government would employ 1,900 youths to clean up Nairobi River.
“In addition the ministry will spend Sh10 million to begin cleaning up Mathare and Ngong Rivers. The Ministry has also been directed to complete its plan to clean up Nairobi Dam,” he announced.
Odinga argued that the country’s water ways were crucial in sustaining food security and it was therefore important to restore and preserve them.
“Our lakes and rivers are also our national treasures and they are invaluable assets to food security,” he noted.
He also renewed his call to Kenyans asking them to plant trees in honour of the late minister.
The PM asked the Ministry of Environment to scale up its tree planting programme and ensure that the target set by the late Michuki, of five million trees per year, was met.
“But of course the government cannot do it alone. We need to plant 400 million trees per year if we are to achieve the target of 7.6 billion trees by 2030, as set out by Michuki,” he said.
He further expressed concern at the food situation in the country noting that the arid and semi arid were yet to recover from last year’s drought.
“Central, Coast and Eastern regions experienced lower yields with some regions of lower Eastern and Coast experiencing total crop failure,” he said.
He added that low temperatures in Nyandarua and Nakuru Counties resulted in frost which affected the production of potatoes.
He also said that floods in Western Kenya, Coast and upper Eastern regions also affected food production.
“The country’s maize stocks currently stand at 19 million bags including 13.4 million that farmers are holding. We must ensure that this stock is brought by the Cereals Board and private millers.
Otherwise it will be exported as happened last year,” he warned.
He added that there was need to increase the strategic grains reserves from 2.3 million to at least 4 million by the end of the current financial year.