“We have entities that have no conscience, some people think the are very smart by acquiring public land” Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko has warned those who have acquired forest land illegally to surrender it to the government saying the government is coming for them.
He was speaking at City Park where the National celebration for the World Desertification and Drought Day was held. The CS said that City Park is an area where war veterans were laid to rest such as Vice President Joseph Murumbi, his wife Sheila and Pio Gama Pinto. It is indeed a green space located in Parklands area in Nairobi County. The park is endowed with a rich diversity of mammals (notably the Sykes monkey), over a hundred different kinds of birds, a rich composition of natural vegetation, an abundant insect life and quite a number of reptiles and amphibians.
Saddened by the grabbing culture in Kenya, he assured the public of the government’s commitment to reclaim all public spaces which he said belongs to the people despite the existing impossibilities to get a valid title deed for public land. The CS divulged that the Gikuyu community donated 90 acres of their land in perpetuity to Kenyans and particularly the people of Nairobi but sadly it has been excised illegally and now only 63 acres remains. He cited the shameful and alarming level of destruction of the park as one of the reasons why the President directed the management of the park be placed under Kenya Forest Service.
With the Kenya Forest Service taking over the management of City Park since 10th June, 2020, there are plans by the government to fence it off and make it accessible to the public free of charge. As our cities grow, there is need to transform our urban areas into healthy places to live by investing in green spaces.