EDITORIAL

Ngong eco-lodge is disastrous swindle

In Summary

• 'Eco-lodge' will have parking for 300 cars, conference facility, pool and restaurant.

• Secure Homes will only invest Sh80 million in exchange for 25-year lease.

A view of the Ngong Hills Forest
A view of the Ngong Hills Forest
Image: COURTESY

The Ngong forest covered 7,232 acres when it was first gazetted in 1932. Today it covers only 3,024 acres because developers have gobbled up the rest.

Now the Kenya Forest Service is about to administer the kiss of death to the Ngong Forest by granting a 25-year lease for 30 acres inside the forest to a so-called 'eco-lodge' (see P10).

It is not clear what is 'eco' about the new hotel to be set up by an unknown company called Secure Homes.

 
 

The hotel will have parking for 300 cars, a landscaped area for events, a swimming pool, an amphitheatre, restaurant, bar, conference facility, gym and 25 rooms. This does not sound ecological. This sounds like an ordinary hotel in the middle of a precious scrap of remaining forest.

Secure Homes has promised to invest just Sh80 million in the hotel but Sh70 million will come from bank loans and only Sh10 million from their own pockets.

Yet 30 acres of land in that area is worth at least Sh3 billion. This lodge is an environmental disaster and a financial swindle. 

Wangari Maathai must be turning in her grave.

Quote of the day: "Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe."

Thomas Jefferson
The third American President died on 4 July, 1826