Major towns in Nyeri County have received a major facelift following the re-carpeting of roads at a cost of Sh180 million as Governor Mutahi Kahiga embarks on an ambitious beautification project.
Towns in Nyeri will now have rock gardens, colourful terrazzo motifs, fountain parks and raised flower beds.
The transformation of the towns has taken off with trimming of overgrown bushes and weeding the gardens.
Roads in Nyeri Town have been upgraded as the county seeks to restore the colonial town that for decades served as the headquarters of Central Province.
Since the re-carpeting started, casual workers have been sweeping the streets daily and ensure collection of garbage.
A street landscaping proposal prepared by the Lands and Physical Planning County Executive Member Kwai Wanjaria has identified roundabouts, flower beds and pedestrian paths as areas that require an upgrade.
“The benefits of the facelift also include providing recreational spaces that will encourage healthier, active lifestyles for Nyeri people. The green areas will reduce air pollution by harnessing harmful carbon emissions,” he said.
In the proposal, the county admits that the dilapidated roundabouts give visitors a bad impression of Nyeri Town.
The county is banking on improved infrastructure and beautification to market itself, attract investors and boost domestic tourism numbers.
According to Dr Kwai, the beautification will increase property value for homes and businesses and reduce traffic congestion by providing access to alternative modes of transport.
The Osman Allow Junction roundabout will have short citations on people considered as Nyeri heroes inscribed on its flat surfaces.
The roundabout named after Blessed Sister Irene Nyatha will exhibit themes of art and culture where sculptures will be placed with the commemorative pillar and plaque as the centre piece.
To address vandalism of the metallic street signage, the county has said it will use plastic instead.
The Physical Planning department will constitute an aesthetic committee and craft a legislation that will designate a week or a day for street landscaping.
In the last three months, the county has hosted three national events.
It started with Kenya primary schools ball games followed by the National Music Festival and the ongoing Water Companies Sports Organisation games.
“We remind all participating teams to take time off the games to visit our tourist sites and to also visit the Baden Powel tomb just in town or the Mau Mau caves in Mathira,” said Governor Kahiga.
The county will also demarcate parking slots afresh after it was forced to remove the concrete kerbstones constructed by the previous regime to pave way for re-carpeting.
A report released in 2016 by the National Tax Payers Association revealed that the county spent Sh13 million to construct the parking bays, indicating that it will take the county nearly three years to recover the money from user charges.