Public spaces are a prominent feature of any proper city and a location can’t claim to be a metropolis without such spaces where the public can let their hair down and unwind. One such location in the capital, Abuja is the naturally endowed Jabi Lake resort. Unfortunately, this untapped gold mine has fallen victim to our notoriously poor maintenance culture. Commissioned in 2007 by then president, Olusegun Obasanjo, the scenic location is falling apart.
Despite its poorly kept state, the park still draws a good crowd on weekdays with fun seekers and families out for a good time.
The party is in full swing by weekend and Friday evening to Sunday evening bears a carnival-like atmosphere. Members of the public turn up to avail themselves of its recreational facilities which includes volleyball courts, football fields, table tennis boards and pool tables. Skaters are a regular sight and kids can be seen practicing their moves under the watchful eyes of parents and guardians while the experienced guys put on a dazzling display of skills. Golfers are part of the fun too.
Vendors take advantage of the crowds to make brisk business and various items ranging from sporting equipment to refreshments are on sale.
There are clusters of cool shade trees beneath which visitors can cool off after a sweaty session or just enjoy a relaxing picnic with friends. The lake lends itself beautifully to the park’s soothing ambience and the rock formations are a lovely sight. A visitor in search of some solitude can leave the noise behind, turn off at one of the several walkways and arrive at a waterside clearing complete with concrete benches and a fetching view of the water body.
Despite all these, the resort is grossly underutilized even to the untrained eye. For instance, it is in desperate need of a mini harbour and water crafts where visitors can pay to take a ride on the lake. There are a few starving horses scattered about but what a facility such as this needs is a number of strong healthy horses which visitors can ride for a fee. A children’s playground with slides and swings is not a bad idea. Street lights can also be installed, this will appeal greatly to the crowd who close late from work and desire a relaxing evening stroll after a hard day’s grind.
The unkempt bushes need trimming too. All classes are accommodated whether kids, teens, adults or the elderly.
The employment opportunities are enormous, it can generate revenue and improve the general social life of the city. Hopefully, the right people are reading this.