Sprucing Up Nairobi Goes On Even After Obama Exit

The Nairobi County Government says the beautification which has been going on around the city will continue despite the end of US President Barack Obama’s visit.

Environment County executive Evans Ondieki told Capital FM News that the initiative was a long term process which did not end with Obama’s visit.

He urged city residents to be cooperative as City Hall does its work.

“Some of it could have been done in September, October, November but we brought it forward because of that need. I think it was prudent to do that because when you have the best of the best in your city then you do not show your worst. It would be logical to do that,” he stated.

He emphasised that the program will ensure that the city becomes a destination of choice especially to tourists.

“The visit by President Obama is a major boost for Nairobi City. It also a boost for the country because Obama is the biggest name you can ever have at any given time. You have Obama then you have all the networks, all the cables, all the new agencies, they will be focused on Nairobi and surely notwithstanding the fact that this was in our work plan in terms of beautification, open spaces parks and other areas in Nairobi,” he said.

He stated that the county had to put in a good front during the visit so as to make a good impression on investors who also accompanied the US President.

“Obama came with visitors and the motto and mission of Nairobi is ‘a city to live, work and invest.’ So this is a city that is attractive, has good climate, good people, food, and secure so that was the best thing to do and as a county, we gave it priority. Obama came with more than 500 investors,” he said.

He also pointed out that there were additional major conferences in the course of the year which the country had to prepare for.

“I have to contextualise this because Obama came then we have the National Cancer Conference coming next month, we have the Pope coming in November; we have WTO coming on December 16th we have the International Water Conference coming in February and then we have several other major conferences. So we are saying that for the next one year, Nairobi will be a major bee hive of activity in terms of international conferences and very serious visitors coming. So looking at the totality of what we are doing, I think it is the best thing to do,” he indicated.

“It is not too much to invest when you are having major guests. That is the right thing to do because we want the reputation of Nairobi to be upheld. To be a city of integrity, a city of international repute, a smart city, a city that people can come and feel secure, a city that is friendly. This is the only city in the world where you have a National park.”

He said the beautification process will continue to be undertaken on all major highways and open spaces.

“All the major road corridors means Lang’ata, Ngong Road, Limuru, Waiyaki way Mombasa Road, Jogoo roads Juja and Karen roads among all these other roads. The bottom line is, we are going to beautify all these areas and not only the major road corridors but also all the open spaces of which we have got more than 120 in the city. Some of them had been grabbed but since Governor (Evans) Kidero took over, he has reclaimed a large number of them,” he stated.

Before Obama’s visit, Kenyans social media questioning whether the grass will have fully grown before the US President jetted into the country.

President Uhuru Kenyatta however encouraged Kidero by urging him to plant the grass as it would eventually grow.