Sh50 million ‘Kidero grass’ dries up as watering stops
The beautification project included landscaping and planting grass between the city centre and the JKIA. Youths were hired to watch over the grass
The Sh50 million ‘Kidero grass’ has been neglected and is fast drying up.
The grass along major city roads was planted and frequently watered last year ahead of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit and US President Barack Obama’s visit. But the grass and flowers have slowly withered after City Hall stopped watering them, despite spending millions on the city beautification project.
The project included landscaping and planting grass between the city centre and the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
In February, the beautification project won the Best Landscaping Project trophy at this year’s Awards of Excellence in Architecture by the Architectural Association of Kenya.
A check by the Star yesterday showed the grass and flowers have dried up, paths beaten on the grass and flowerbeds littered.
Two weeks ago, Environment executive Peter Kimori and chief officer Christine Ogut said the water points on the highway had been vandalised, but county repaired them.
“All the nine water points on the Uhuru Highway are functional. The watering of the Kidero grass should not be a problem. We should ensure they are not vandalised,” Kimori said.
Yesterday, the two did not respond to our phone calls and messages.
In August last year, the county hired more than 50 youths to guard the grass and the flower beds. They arrested anybody found littering or walking on the grass.
On their first day of operation, the guards arrested 71 people.
Each person was charged Sh2,000 at the City Hall court.
Residents complained that most of them were arrested outside the University of Nairobi gate.
Insiders said the county used to net about Sh10 million a week from fines of those found stepping on the grass, littering and crossing the city roads at undesignated places.
Left: Green grass on the Uhuru Highway on August 6 last year. Right: A man walks on dry grass yesterday