Kenyan Roundup: Kenyatta Opens Park, Schools Stay Closed

  • Administrative officials such as chiefs and their deputies will ensure that the plan is implemented at the grassroots level.
  • The plan also includes tree planting as a step towards environmental improvement.
  • Sellers of school goods in the city of Mombasa are complaining about the closure of schools until 2021 as a major blow to their businesses.

President Uhuru Kenyatta launched a campaign to restore Nairobi City’s status through environmental protection. Speaking Friday at the John Michuki Memorial Garden near the Globe Circle, he said the campaign is part of the Central Government’s plan to maintain cleanliness across the country.

Uhuru Kenyatta is a Kenyan politician, businessman, and the fourth and current President of the Republic of Kenya. He served as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Gatundu South from 2002 to 2013. Currently, he is a member and the party leader of the Jubilee Party of Kenya.

The move, he said, is a new awakening in the city, and is in the pilot phase. The plan also includes tree planting as a step towards environmental improvement. The initiative will be officially launched on September 1, and will be overseen by the Ministry of Homeland Security as well as that of the Environment.

Administrative officials such as chiefs and their deputies will ensure that the plan is implemented at the grassroots level.

“We have moved it from a safe haven for criminals to a place of serene beauty and peace; from blacken waters of Nairobi river to a swimming destination for ducks and mudfish; and from a lifeless habitat to a life-supporting ecosystem, leading to the re-emergence of birds.”

He continued, saying that “we can restore the former glory of our great city of Nairobi, to what was referred to as the ‘green city in the sun.’” Kenyatta added, “the initiative will be run and managed by our chiefs in collaboration with central and county government officials, as well as non-governmental organizations.”

He issued a stern warning to chiefs and other government officials who were negligent in the implementation of the campaign, and his government would not hesitate to take disciplinary action against them.

“And those who do well in the program will be rewarded while the negligent will be held accountable for their mistakes,” President Kenyatta said. He explained, “it should be noted that this campaign is being implemented in line with the Street Work program which has already entered the second phase in all 47 counties.”

Among the areas targeted for improvement under the plan are Nairobi Arboretum, Karura Forest, Central Park, Uhuru Park, Ngong Forest among others.

Student Product Retailers Complain in Mombasa

The COVID-19 pandemic reached Kenya in March 2020 with the initial cases reported in the capital city Nairobi and in the coastal area Mombasa county. As of August 15, there were 29,334 confirmed cases and 465 deaths from COVID-19.

Sellers of school goods in the city of Mombasa are complaining about the closure of schools until 2021 as a major blow to their businesses. They said their financial situation had continued to deteriorate since the closure of all schools in the country on March 15, following the outbreak of COVID-19.

They said they were afraid of sinking into the abyss of greed as they were forced to use savings to pay various fees, including shop taxes and license fees despite their businesses not earning any income. In addition, they said some of them have started closing businesses due to the failure and costs of running such businesses.

People said school closures have affected their business significantly. Shoe and book dealer Brian Osuna said since the closure of the school life has been difficult for him.

“This business has given me my daily livelihood, but at the moment I can’t afford some of my basic needs,” said Mr. Osuna. He said he feared he could not afford to pay his shop taxes if the schools were not reopened soon. He added:

“I pay county taxes but there is no business at the moment so I am forced to use my savings. Parents buy their children shoes, school uniforms, and books at the beginning of the year or every new term, but now moving the school opening date will have a huge impact on us.”

According to Education Minister George Magoha, schools will not reopen in September as originally planned following the increase in the number of cases in the country. Mr. Magoha ordered the schools to reopen in January 2021 if the number of cases of infection was significantly reduced, saying the reopening of the schools would now endanger the health of students.

Another, Mr. Ali Swaleh, who sells various school products, including bags and books, said he has been forced to reduce his financial needs following the difficult living conditions he is going through. “I moved out of the big house I was living in and moved to a smaller house to reduce the cost of living,” he said.

Another, Ms. Zainab Hamid, asked the government to put them on the list of people who will receive food and financial assistance.

“We used to be able to afford our lives but now most of us are failing. Some people have closed their doors following the deterioration of a business. We do not know when the normal situation will return so we ask the government to look after us,” she said.

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George Mtimba

George clarifies how the news is changing the world, how world news trends affect you. Also, George is a professional journalist, a freelance news reporter and writer who is passionate with current world news.

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