The rehabilitation of the four hectare idle space in Butere town and creation of an eco-park near lower Butere bus station is a much welcomed idea by local and neighboring communities, who see it as a golden opportunity that will uplift lives of residents. The park will have multiple purposes, from providing space for leisure, to facilitating recycling and reducing crime. However stalled implementation is causing frustration.

The intended change project by SymbioCity Kenya (SCK) will not only spur Butere’s economic development but will also be an intersection of tradition and modernity, natural beauty and ingenuity, the busy and the peaceful. The park is intended to be an ideal space for sightseeing, relaxation and enjoying life.

It intends to create an environment in harmony between nature and human beings while creating sustainable projects.

Most residents we talked to look forward to the benefits that the multipurpose park will bring to the community in terms of enhanced environmental outlook through extensive landscaping; job creation, from managerial and technical roles to junior administrative and operational positions and apprenticeships; a dedicated reuse center that will be a prominent feature, encouraging residents to leave their unwanted items to be recycled and reused; and contribution towards reduction of crime and antisocial behaviors. Some are however apprehensive to why the project is taking so long to kick off.

Residents who had encroached the piece of land are quick to reaffirm their support for the project when asked whether their fear of eviction interferes with embracing the project.

“It would be insane of us to reject this opportunity for our community. We only request that should there be need for evictions, let it be done humanely and make sure victims are compensated,” said Henry Mwale, one of those who may be affected.

By Elizabeth Mayabi, Communications Officer, Kakamega County

A version of this article was first published on Kakamega County’s website.

Photo caption: Land being prepared for a four hectare big public park in Butere, Kakamega County.