Nakuru governor, Susan Kihika, on Wednesday, May 31, was impressed by a flamingo sculpture installed at Tampa International Airport, in the US.
Kihika, who adored the 22 feet tall sculpture made of steel, resin and fibreglass flamingo, revealed plans to set up a similar structure at Lanet Airstrip in Nakuru.
Defending the decision, Kihika underlined that Nakuru was synonymous with flamingoes found at Lake Naivasha, attracting local and international reports.
Kihika implored Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen to adopt the structure during the rehabilitation of the Lanet Airport in Nakuru.
"I love this, Kipchumba Murkomen; let's do this! Flamingoes are synonymous with Nakuru. This is cool," she stated on her social media pages while promising to make in-depth research, in response to a tweet by a Nakuru creative, Moseax.
On December 2020, the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) began upgrading the Lanet Airstrip in Nakuru County. The 18-month-long project was touted to increase the capacity of the existing Lanet Airbase to handle both commercial and cargo air traffic, making the airbase a dual military-civilian facility.
Phase one of the project included the construction of a 1.7km by 23m wide bitumen runway, taxiways, a military apron, a terminal building, and a lounge.
A perimeter wall was set to be built at Lanet Airstrip to enhance security at the facility.
Tampa Bay Airport Sculpture
Matthew Mazzotta, an American social practice artist, hand-sculpted each part of the flamingo design and cast them in polyester resin and fibreglass composite.
He then painted it to be realistic in touch and sight. Rings of floor bumpers around each foot and head mimic the rings of water rippling on the floor as they guide those seeing impaired around the sculpture.
It was installed in 2022 and cost the US government Ksh72 million. The sculpture is a popular photo opportunity for travellers and is often used as a symbol of Tampa Bay.