Deloitte celebrated 100 years of doing business in Kenya last week at the ivory burning site inside the Nairobi National Park.
I’m sure Deloitte will exist in another hundred years, but will the Nairobi National Park as we know it be around in a hundred years?
This has been debated before but it sure to come up again and again as the city rapidly expands into all open land to the South and East.
And with the three hour traffic jams (more) that some city residents experience daily, each way on roads like Thika Road and Mombasa Road, there is appetite for some improvement.
Decision makers may find it easier to hive off land than to radically change other aspects of rapid urbanizations such as taxation (increase tax on cars to reuce their numbers), develop a mass public transport system, or infrastructure (more by-pass roads) which in any case would still have to run thought the park.
So it’s likely that in a few years you can expect moves to reduce / encroach on the parks 117 sq km to create more residential and commercial space close to the city.
And residents lulled by the offer of more land, easier access to towns, offices and new homes may support absorption of some park space by the city of Nairobi.
Though the park has stood the test of time and remains largely intact to past encroachment efforts, the animal numbers have diminished as developments to the south have cut off migration paths. Stories of lions or leopards being seen in the Langata area at night have all but disappeared. The Kenya Wildlife service has proven adept at relocating animals including elephants and rhinos to other parks in the country and would be called up on to do the same here.
The park has few forested areas so it’s easy to see quite far in the park. But at night during the Deloitte function you could see lights in the distance all around the park, marking the edge of human activity bursting to enter the park.
Good luck to Nairobi National Park over the next 100 years!