Kenya

Psychiatrist creates fish park that helps ease stress

Psychiatrist creates fish park that helps ease stress

Dr Mukui Wakamunguna, the proprietor of Metis Fish Park in Nyeri, displays a fish delicacy at his premises on July 22, 2021. At the park, people can retreat to unwind and practice sport fishing.

Photo credit: Joseph Kanyi | Nation Media Group

Everyone undergoes some form of stress in their lifetime which does not necessarily require medical help. This is why Dr Mukui Kamunguna, a psychiatrist, created a fish park in an arboretum setting where people can retreat to unwind and practice sport fishing.

The serenity starts right from the entrance of the Metis Fish Park, from the lush green grass and assorted citric fruits, berries and mangoes dotting the compound that has 50 different tree species, indigenous, herbal and medicinal.

In the space, there's a 'shrine' where people can pray or hold their gatherings while interacting with nature.

Metis Fish Park

Dr Mukui Wakamunguna shows the raised ponds at Metis Fish Park in Nyeri.

Photo credit: Joseph Kanyi | Nation Media Group

"People come here for their chamas and other events and can slaughter a goat and roast it here,” says Dr Kamunguna.

There is also a restaurant raised above the fish ponds and a canopy that offers a view of Mt Kenya and the expansive plains of the Aberdare Range.

Relaxing spot

The psychiatrist observes that people are normally extremely stressed, and since he has always found nature calming, he decided to create a relaxing spot.

The Metis Fish Park is located in Nyaribo, Nyeri County, a few kilometres from Dedan Kimathi University of Technology.

The grounds can host parties, meetings and also offer camping facilities and accommodation at Sh3, 500 per individual.

Dr Kamunguna also views it as a place where children who are born and raised in the urban areas, where their knowledge on farming is limited, can learn and interact with nature.

In the ponds are catfish, which he says are easier to eat.

Metis Fish Park

The lounge at Metis Fish Park in Nyeri.

Photo credit: Joseph Kanyi | Nation Media Group

"Coming from an area where people do not consume fish, I am among the pioneers and promoters of fish eating in the county,” he says, adding that one gets an opportunity to catch their fish, which is then prepared by an in-house chef. One sells for Sh1,200.

After guests catch their fish, they are then taken through the process of gutting it, cleaning it and getting rid of the scales.

Dr Wakamunguna

Dr Wakamunguna during the interview at his Metis Fish Park in Nyaribo, Nyeri.

Photo credit: Joseph Kanyi | Nation Media Group

Wholesome experience

"I wanted to have a place that offers a wholesome experience, where people can come and have fun, relax and learn," he explains.

To ensure that he has fruits in the park throughout the year, he practices proper crop husbandry that entails watering and feeding the crops with manure.

The biggest challenge in this business, he says, is the high cost of fish feeds and fingerlings. A two-inch fingerling costs Sh14, which is too expensive considering that he needs to stock his ponds with over 2,000 fish.


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