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‘Kidero grass’ left to wither after gobbling Sh48.9m in spruce up

The infamous ‘Kidero grass’ has been neglected and left to wither despite the millions of shillings used in the city beautification programme.

The grass planted on major  roads and highways was part of a spruce up by the Nairobi City County last year ahead of President Barack Obama’s visit.

City Hall used over Sh48.9 million to spruce up the High Ways from the City centre to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) ahead of US President Barack Obama’s visit to the country last year.

The beautification included landscaping and planting of grass on the open spaces between the city centre and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

The programme was the butt of rebuke after Kenyans on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp took issue with Governor Evans Kidero’s efforts to give city roadsides a carpet of natural grass in less than three weeks.

SORRY SIGHT

But after swallowing Sh48.9 million, the ‘Kidero grass’ are now a sorry sight of neglect.  Foot paths have emerged on the previously lush grass and littering by hawkers and pedestrian has not helped matters either.

City hall, it seems, abandoned the project as soon as Pope Francis left the country and the grass has degenerated into patches of green.

Nairobi County Executive Environment Engineer Peter Kimori, in an interview, said that the water points had been vandalized but the county had restored them.

“All the nine water points along the Uhuru highway are working. The watering of the Kidero grass should not be a problem, we should ensure that they are not vandalized,”said Eng Kimori.

Lands and urban planning Executive Christopher Khaemba said that next week they will be dismantling roadside barriers erected by the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) to discourage pedestrians from crossing the busy highways and use footbridges instead.

ERECT BARRIERS

“The NTSA has gone ahead to erect barriers on the highway we will dismantle them as they are not aligned to the County bylaws,”said Khaemba.

Mr Khaemba claimed the NTSA had gone ahead to place advertisements on the barriers without permit from the county which is in charge of outdoor advertisement.

He added that the adverts had made the highways ugly, sabotaging the county’s  beautification programme.

“The money they are using to put the barriers should have been used to put up footbridge for the pedestrians as the available ones are far much stretched,” he said.