NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 5 – The National Lands Commission says it is awaiting a survey report before making a decision over controversial land at the Nairobi City Park.
The commission’s chairman, Mohamed Swazuri says issues that need to be determined revolve around permanent buildings on the land and allocations that appear legal.
The Aga Khan Trust for Culture is however urging speedy conclusion of the matter so that a multi-million rehabilitation project can be carried out at the park.
John Mburu, the Chief Executive Officer of the Nairobi City Park Services Company says there is need for the National Land Commission to speed up revocation of 14 title deeds.
Speaking at the International Environment Day Celebrations at City Park, Mburu announced that the rehabilitation of the park can only begin when the 63 hectares of land is restored as social public land.
“We would like to appeal to the county governor and his team to come quickly so that we can move forward for the purpose of rehabilitation of the park otherwise the likelihood is that in the next five months if nothing happens then we and our financial partners are going to pull out by that the government of Kenya would have lost social investment,” he said.
Last year, City Hall revoked allocation of nine hectares of land at City Park that had been appropriated by private developers. However, the Land Commission is yet to gazette the land.
“In 1932 the park was about 91 hectares of land today the only available land is 19 hectares so we have lost virtually 72 hectares. Now unfortunately or fortunately some of the land has not been constructed on, the challenge though even after revocation they are people who are still clearing land, this are people who we thought were part of the revocation.”
Eco Plan Limited Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Wachira says that the park is an asset that should not be ignored hence the need for a partnership between the government and private investors.
“We cannot allow what has been happening over the years to continue happening whereby individuals are hiving off sections of the park and even providing title deeds whose authenticity cannot be verified. Nairobi City Park is a public asset so that means everybody who lives in Nairobi have a right to this park and they have the responsibility to ensure that this park remains a public park,” she said.
“There aren’t many parks in Nairobi and those that are there are congested. The kind of rehabilitation that’s been planned comprises all kinds of things; restoring the flora, securing the park with a perimeter wall and construction will happen in areas where there has been depletion and erosion and a clean-up of the river that flows through the park.”