Nairobi River Restoration: Lessons to pick from Moscow River

Residents can enjoy boat rides as they learn of the city's rich history

In Summary
  • Mostly over the weekend, if the Commission will succeed in restoring the river, the visit to the Nairobi River would be a great family day out
  • In the first Executive Order of 2023, the office was been moved to Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua's territory to oversee the functions of the commission.
Boat, full of residents cruising Moscow River on a Sunday afternoon
Boat, full of residents cruising Moscow River on a Sunday afternoon

President William Ruto had in December 2022 formed the Nairobi River Commission to reclaim the rivers of Nairobi as a spine to the city's blue and green infrastructure for a better urban environment and quality of life.

The commission is part of Ruto's grand plan to clean up Nairobi city and restore it to its former glory. 

In the first Executive Order of 2023, the office was domiciled under Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua and given the mandate to oversee the functions of the commission.

The commission’s main mandate is to examine previous reports and recommendations made to reclaim the Nairobi River and adopt lessons learned in the new initiative.

The President, during the launch of the commission in February, explained that his dream is to sort out the filth in the capital and make Nairobi a better, cleaner place.

“If you look at our rivers in Nairobi, it is a sad story and I want to assure the residents of Nairobi that we will make the Nairobi River what it should be,” Ruto said.

The Moscow River
The Moscow River

Kenya can borrow a leaf from the Moscow River in Russia to make the restoration of the Nairobi rivers a reality.

The Moscow River, I must declare this from the onset before I proceed, is clean and life oozes out of in plenty. I may even be accused of giving it too much credit but it's a place for fairy tales and memorable wedding engagements.

At the Moscow River families, and couples throng the areas on the weekends to enjoy boat rides, view the city, and get to fully see areas within the city on a one and half hour ride.  

With the boat rides, Moscow residents spend approximately 1,690 Roubles (Sh2580)  for regular tickets and 2,900 Roubles (Sh4,428) for first-class tickets.

Residents enjoy the boat rides fully refreshed, and well-fed, and have an understanding of the city and its rich history.

With the Moscow River cruise, one is able to see the Kremlin(President Vladimir Putin's office), the Saint Basil’s Cathedral, Gorky Park, Peter The Great Statue and much more while on the boat.

Restoring our rivers in Nairobi will add another tourist attraction gem for people living and visiting Nairobi. Apart from visiting the National Park, they will also have an opportunity to view the city, as they row across the city by the River.

The cleaning of the River is ongoing, and structures built on the riparian land will be demolished.

When all the cleaning-up exercise is done, it would be great if the government can collaborate with local business people to spearhead activities such as boat rides across the river akin to what is happening at the Moscow River.

Nairobians and visitors will get a rare view of the city and be educated on the history of the River and the city under the sun.

Several boats on the Moscow River
Several boats on the Moscow River

Mostly over the weekend visit to the Nairobi River would be a great family day out, as people dine on boats as they enjoy quality family time.

It will also be an excellent opportunity for businesses including food vendors, artists, and others to eke a living as they will be serving those on the boat rides.

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