Construction progresses on Kenya Temple

October 22, 2019
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MATUNDA, Kenya — A new stage of development has been reached in the construction of the first local Baha’i House of Worship in Africa. The foundation of the central edifice has now been laid and work on other structural elements is advancing.

The 1.5-meter central mound on which the 18-meter-tall Temple will stand has been completed. Work on columns has begun and construction of its auxiliary structures, such as a visitor’s center, is well under way. The Temple’s design, simple yet elegant in form, was inspired by huts that are traditional to the region.

Since the groundbreaking ceremony in March, interest in the Temple and what it represents has been growing among the region’s inhabitants.

“The devotional spirit in local communities has been enriched as more people come to better understand the nature and purpose of Houses of Worship,” says Stephen Mwangi, the Temple’s project administrator. “Many new gatherings that bring together friends and neighbors for prayer have been initiated in local communities since construction began.”

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Workers build the Temple’s structural columns.

Located just west of the town of Matunda, the site of the future Baha’i Temple is in a region that is home to some of Kenya’s earliest Baha’i communities, where patterns of worship and service to humanity have been fostered over decades.

“Nearby residents,” Mr. Mwangi continues, “are visiting the Temple site to pray and offer service, demonstrating a growing sense of ownership for the development of the Temple and the surrounding land.” Mr. Mwangi noted that numerous plants and trees have been donated for a nursery and a core of people are dedicated to its maintenance. The nursery, which houses over 1,000 plants and trees of 100 varieties, will eventually provide for the beautification of the Temple grounds.

The Kenya Temple follows two other local Baha’i House of Worship which were raised in Battambang, Cambodia, and Norte del Cauca, Colombia. Other countries designated by the Universal House of Justice to build a local Baha’i Temple include India and Vanuatu.

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The Kenya Temple’s construction crew carefully laid stones, on which concrete was later poured to form the building’s foundation.