Prof Simon Gicharu MKU
Mount Kenya University founder Prof Simon Gicharu (left) plants a tree at the 20-acre botanic garden to be used by the public for research and leisure.

Mount Kenya University has announced it will open up its 20-acre botanic garden for research advancement and leisure. The university’s founder, Prof Simon Gicharu, said this is aimed at maximising the use of the garden situated in Thika for botanical studies and recreation for both students and the larger community around.

“The garden is currently used for learning but it can still offer more. The institution deemed it fit to expand its usage to accommodate the community as this will open up research opportunities,” said Prof Gicharu.

The botanic garden sits in a 100-acre piece of land valued at Ksh4 billion owned by the university.

Prof Gicharu, who spoke during a tree planting exercise, indicated that the garden will also have a space for recreation where community elders can have goat-eating meetings while arbitrating community issues.

“The leisure centre will accommodate diverse groups because a university which is a universal institution has a key role in promoting and sustaining positive diversity, besides academics,” Prof Gicharu observed. The university’s students and staff planted over 3,000 seedlings of indigenous tree species.

In February 2021, the fast-growing university purchased a real-time COVID-19 testing machine in a bid to enhance the detection of the virus within the institution.

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