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Nanyuki turns new page as town marks 100 years of existence

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Nanyuki turns new page as town marks 100 years of existence by Kenyans247(1): Fri 13, November, 2020 02:44pm
What you need to know:
Over the years the town has made major strides in the conservation of natural resources.
Nanyuki's centenary celebrations will begin on November 24 and end on December 12, 2020 on Jamhuri Day.
On November 24, 1920, then Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the colony of Kenya, Edward Northey, gazetted Nanyuki as a town.
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"In the exercise of the powers conferred upon me, I the Governor of the colony of Kenya and the East African Protectorate, hereby declare the area described in the schedule here to be a township for the purposes of the East Africa Townships Ordinance, 1903, and to be named Nanyuki," reads the notice in part.

In two weeks, Nanyuki residents will be marking the town’s 100 years of existence, a moment to reflect on the progress and challenges it has undergone as well as any opportunities for the betterment of the town, popularly known as “Mwisho wa Reli”.

Nanyuki has, over the years, been bustling town and, apart from the usual noises caused by fighter jets from the Laikipia Air Base and myriads of tourism activities, the town has made major strides in the conservation of natural resources.


Recently, the county and national governments partnered with a local environmentalist towards removing waste from Nanyuki River that snakes through the busy town and creating the new Kirieri public recreation park.

Storm Water and Environmental Management Forum chairman Francis Thuti says residents have, over the years, encroached on the river and felled indigenous trees, hence polluting it.

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s national hygiene programme, popularly known as Kazi Mtaani, has enhanced removal of waste from the river and created the park.

Mr Thuti says his organisation has been at the forefront of not only restoring indigenous trees but also planting fruits along the river banks and in learning institutions.

Natural resource
As Nanyuki town marks 100 years on November 24, Mr Thuti prides himself to have entered into a partnership with the national and the devolved unit to rehabilitate the major natural resource.

"In the last 100 years, we have immensely polluted our environment and dispersed myriads of bird species along the river. But we still have a chance to do better in the forthcoming 100 years," Mr Thuti says.

He anticipates that residents will heed his call on conserving the environment by ensuring that there is proper waste management.

"As we turn a new page as Nanyuki residents, my prayer is that the government will upscale its efforts in sensitising the public on the need to conserve nature. Failure to do so, our future generations will be left with a very dormant town," he adds.

Laikipia County acting chief officer in charge of Water, Environment and Natural Resources Evans Kamau says they have been consistent in cleaning up the river.


Mr Kamau says they have recently been collecting over 50,000 tonnes of waste in the town, and that the department is now focusing on recycling of the waste products.

He says the county government aims at improving its collection and disposal of waste products to enhance the cleanliness of the town.

"We have a team that works round the clock to ensure that our town is ever clean by collecting garbage in all estates and streets. We have been frequently cleaning up our drainage systems. We will also introduce combustion of waste," Mr Kamau says.


Nturukuma Chief Joseph Runyenje says the partnership has enhanced restoration of Kirieri area through the creation of a public park.

Mr Runyenje anticipates that as Nanyuki marks 100 years old, the next generation will take up the initiative of conserving the river and appealed to area residents to cease deforestation activities.

The administrator recalls the days when the river was roaring and teeming with birds and other wild animals.

Centenary celebrations
"We need to restore the ambience of Nanyuki River which was lost due to increased human encroachment and deforestation. As a government, we will continue partnering with all stakeholders in ensuring that we deal with this issue of climate change," Mr Runyenje says.

Laikipia Deputy County Commissioner Esther Dhahabu says youths under the Kazi Mtaani programme have been enrolled to partner with the Kenya Forest Service in planting trees in the town.

"This is one of President Kenyatta's legacy projects. We have a nursery where we are targeting to obtain 250,000 seedlings. As of now, we have 125,000 seedlings. We are optimistic that we will achieve the target and plant the seedlings next year to increase the nation's forest cover. I believe this will help the President attain 10 per cent forest cover by 2022," she said.

Laikipia East Sub-County director for Environment Mercy Wahome says the hygiene programme has boosted the county government's efforts in enhancing proper sanitation at the grassroots level.

"Previously, we were unable to reach out to some areas but the programme has gone an extra mile in ensuring that proper sanitation is maintained all over. We could not afford to recruit youths by ourselves to do the work," Ms Wahome says.

Nanyuki's centenary celebrations will begin on November 24 and end on December 12, 2020 on Jamhuri Day.

https://nation.africa/kenya/counties/laikipia/nanyuki-marks-100-years-existence-3020190

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