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The grave situation of Green Jeevanjee Gardens Park

terça-feira 13 de março de 2007, por ,

Photo: Frineia Rezende

THE SITUATION IS MORE GRAVE, THE GREEN JEEVANJEE GARDENS PARK IS NOW BEING REPLACED BY A CONCRETE WALL AND CONCRETE JUNGLE, UNDER THE SUPERVISION AND FUNDING OF UN HABITAT UNDER THE GUISE OF SAFER CITIES INITIATIVE

As early as 8am this morning, 4 trucks of city council workers were taken to Jeevanjee Gardens where they are putting up a concrete perimeter wall and making
arrangements that will see the only public patch of greenery inside the city of Nairobi converted into a
concrete jungle, complete with half the park being converted into, of all things, a public bus park!

Jeevanjee Gardens is under attack again; this time by the City Council of Nairobi and UN HABITAT under the guise of the Safer cities Initiatives. People’s Parliament is on record opposing the conversion of Jeevanjee Gardens into a public bus park and a concrete park where members of the public will no longer be able to enjoy the green grass and the serenity of the many trees amidst the concrete jungle. Many members of the public, including People’s Parliament voiced their opposition in many meetings last year and
wrote to UN HABITAT opposing the grabbing of the public space and conversion of the same for purposes other than those that it was intended for when the land was granted to the people of the city of Nairobi by Mr. Jeevanjee.

If the Nairobi City Council and UN HABITAT succeed in tearing the park apart, the city will have lost one of its gems, forever. The park is a resting place for the tired and weary, a playing ground for children especially during the weekend, and an excellent place to unwind or pass a lunch hour for those who cannot afford to buy lunch. For
People’s Parliament it is a meeting place with a long record of successful social, political and economic action, an irreplaceable platform where ordinary Kenyans from all walks of life, all tribes, all economic and social strata meet and interact. It is where
members socialize and revitalize, plan for action and conduct civic education. It is priceless. If it is lost, it will never be regained.

Apparently, the move to arrest members of people’s parliament, besides being part of an effort to permanently eliminate the movement, is also calculated to intimidate the members so that they do not resist the designs of the city fathers aimed at grabbing the space.

We now need urgent action to intercede on our behalf and have UN HABITAT and the NCC stopped from ruining the park that has survived for almost 100 years as a welcome patch
of green in the middle of the city. It is a shame that UN HABITAT, the agency created to ensure that cities develop without putting residents in jeopardy and the agency we should be calling on for support is the one funding the initiative aimed at destroying the park!

Please, urgently write email and faxes demanding the immediate halting of the wall and at the same time demand that UN HABITAT stop the process that has been going on largely behind the backs of the residents and without their consent.

Please demand that any prospective changes be subject to public debates that are more inclusive and about which
the public is duly informed and included in.

Write all letters to the attention of the following persons who are responsible for the ongoing problems in addition to the others named in the earlier message:

MRS HELEN TABAIJUKA
UNITED NATIONS HUMAN SETTLEMENT PROGRAMME (UN HABITAT)
Fax: +254 20 762 39 19
Fax: + 254 20 762 43 25
Email: execdir.habitat@unhabitat.org
Tel: + 254 20 762 12 34

and:

MR. JOHN GAKUO, TOWN CLERK
NAIROBI CITY COUNCIL
MINISTRY OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT
FAX: +254 20 337 960
TEL: + 254 20 21 74 75

and:

DIRECTOR , URBAN DEVELOPMENT
FAX: +254 20 337 960
TEL: +254 20 340 972


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