Nairobi. One of Kenya’s oldest urban gardens, Kenya’s capital City Park, is to undergo a major restoration after decades of misuse and neglect.The 60-hectare green situated at Parklands in Nairobi is to be dramatically transformed under a programme run by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC).
The Trust and the Kenya government signed a memorandum of understanding recently in Nairobi. Prince Hussain Aga Khan represented the Trust while on the government side were former Nairobi Town Clerk Philip Kisia, Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and ministry of Local Government Prof Karega Mutahi and Dr Jacob ole Miaron, Permanent Secretary at the ministry of State for National Heritage and Culture.
The agreement was reached after a two-year negotiation over the possibility of returning the facility to its original use. This means that the Trust will collaborate in the rehabilitation and restoration of the Nairobi City Park to international standards in terms of architecture, landscape and horticulture.
“The agreement marks the initial steps to give the Park a metropolitan face, which will enhance its appeal to Kenyans as well as visiting global citizens,” said Prince Hussain Aga Khan.
“It is an important step towards ensuring that the historical and cultural heritage, as well as the significant biodiversity of Nairobi City Park, are conserved now and for generations to come.”
In its continued support for local cultural heritage, the Trust will fund the restoration. The actual cost of the project will be disclosed later, after deliberations of the steering committee formed by the three signatories have been agreed upon.
“Many of us remember how good it was in the 1960s and ‘70s to go for outings in the Park when it was patronised by both tourists and locals,” said Kenya’s Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi. “The experience of rehabilitating and restoring Nairobi City Park will give us direction on how to manage other parks, which also need attention,” he told reporters at the signing.