KeNHA Responds After Public Uproar Over Westlands Tree

An image of Fig Tree
The iconic Fig Tree at the junction of Mpaka Road and Waiyaki way in Westlands, Nairobi.

The Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) on Thursday, October 1 responded after public outcry over an iconic fig tree at Westlands, Nairobi being felled.

A number of Kenyans expressed their displeasure at the tree being chopped down to pave way for the 27-kilometre Nairobi Express Way.

KeNHA responded to the public uproar, revealing that the iconic tree will be transplanted to a new location to conserve the environment.

An Artist impression of the Nairobi-Expressway
An Artist impression of the Nairobi-Expressway

"This iconic fig tree sits right at the centre of the Nairobi Expressway operation area. We have planned to transplant and relocate the tree to a new location as part of our environmental conservation efforts," read the KeNHA statement.

KeNHA, however, failed to reveal the location where the tree will be translated after binding the roots to relocate it from Westlands.

The tree is located at the dead centre of a roundabout in joining Mpaka Road and Waiyaki way in Westlands, Nairobi.

An image of Westlands Trees
Trees along Waiyaki Way felled to pave way for the construction of the Nairobi Expressway.

"Stop this ecocide, KeNHA is still clearing trees in Nairobi to pave way for Nairobi Expressway! This giant fig tree is next."

"The Nairobi Express Way cannot continue destroying green spaces without accountability! Shall we all make our voices louder," noted Elizabeth Wathuti.

A section of Kenyans also highlighted solutions deployed by Japan, Singapore and South Africa to translocate trees to pave way for construction of roads.

The move to translocate the tree was lauded by the public and urged KeNHA to plan trees along Nairobi roads that were felled. 

"Do a good job of it. Take it to the park. Actually, plant trees in the park along Southern Bypass to compensate for what you've cut. Take care of those trees for the concession duration of the new highway," said Omuony Otieno.

The Expressway will see one of the oldest rugby clubs in Kenya Mwamba RFC lose its iconic and richly historic Railway Grounds, famously known as Reru.

An image of Express way
On-going construction of the Nairobi Expressway project along Mombasa Road.
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