Nairobi residents took to the streets on Saturday, October 31, to save the iconic fig tree sitting along Waiyaki Way from being uprooted to pave way for the Nairobi expressway.
The residents joined a group of environmentalist waving placards, before moving to form a protective circle around the tree to pass their message.
"If we don't protect trees and nature, the biggest losers will be humans. We can't afford to lose that invaluable tree in Westlands. Our engineers should come up with an alternative: cutting down the tree is simply not an option," one said.
“Green spaces are vital to humans. It is therefore important to act now in their protection and conservation. Otherwise, we may wake up when it’s too late,” Mary Morrison, Environmental Advocate, Daima Coalition on Green Spaces added.Trees along Waiyaki Way felled to pave way for the construction of the Nairobi Expressway.
The felling of trees along Waiyaki way to provide space for the construction of the Nairobi Expressway has become an issue of great concern for the urban
communities in Nairobi.
Hundreds of trees have already been chopped down along the busy highway.
On October 1, the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) released a statement confirming that the fig tree in question was located in the middle of the intended expressway.
"This iconic fig tree sits right at the center 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," reads part of the Kenha statement.
China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), the firm contracted to build the 27-kilometre highway, is required to plant trees covering double the area of public spaces affected.
Under the conditions by the national environment regulator, the firm will also leave the cut trees on site for several days to provide temporary habitats for birds living in the areas and allow time for the birds to escape.
However, this has not stopped Kenyans from expressing their concern over the conversion of green spaces into concrete jungles.
"I cringe every time I pass though Waiyaki Way and see the number of trees that are being cut down to pave way for the expressway. Remind me again, why is that expressway more important than our ecosystem," a Kenyan posed.
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