Nairobi, Kenya: The Jevanjee garden has been identified as one of the 60 open spaces in Nairobi County set to undergo rehabilitation and upgrade. The garden is set to improve and drastically change the face of Nairobi City as it has been earmarked for massive improvement to turn it into a fully recreational park. The announcement was made during a visit by a team from Nairobi City County led by County Executives’ Tom Odongo (Housing and Planning) and Evans Ondieki (Environment) and a delegation from UN Habitat led by Dr. Aisa Kirabo and Kenyan Ambassador of UN Habitat, George Oruna on a site assessment tour and a team from the Norwegian government. According to UN-HABITAT programs architect Richard Irungu, the transformation will take place in three consecutive phases. Some of the steps being taken in each phase include; Paving, installation of statues, notice boards, Wi-Fi and kids play area together with more seats and sculptures.
“Jevanjee gardens is part of the 60 open spaces identified for improvement by Nairobi County and its development partners from the UN Habitat and the Norwegian government which we would like to transform into public recreation facility as well as enhance social integration. This program is meant to improve and change the face of the city and to embrace the attraction site which for years has been neglected,” said Tom Odongo. Odongo added that the proposed improvement on the garden include introduction of water points, regulate the number of preachers, provide adequate street lighting, make it outward looking and change the pebble walk paths that are uncomfortable walking on. The Jevanjee garden is located within the CBD and is popular among the people working in nearby offices as they frequent the park to relax mostly during lunch hour breaks. The park also hosts historical, political and religious rallies, cultural and social events. “Jevanjee garden is a heritage that needs to be upheld because it brought both families and couples together; moreover it preserved culture and social networks,” said Evans Ondieki. The Deputy Director of UN-HABITAT Dr. Kirabo said that the program acts as a center for democracy and urbanisation which brought about regional integration and sustainable development to the city and it was an honor for the UN-HABITAT to work with the Nairobi City County government. She also added that this not only made the county attractive and accessible but it would also enhance the relationship between the private sector and the government.