Activists Block Govt From Cutting Down 35-Yr-Old Kiambu Fig Tree

A photo collage of the iconic fig tree at Westlands, Nairobi and a fig tree adjacent to a railway line in Gitari, Kiambu County.
A photo collage of the iconic fig tree at Westlands, Nairobi and a fig tree adjacent to a railway line in Gitari, Kiambu County.
GBM/ Daima

Daima Green Spaces, an environmental conservationist group, has challenged plans by Kenya Railways to cut down a famous fig tree in Gitari, Kiambu, said to be over 35 years old. 

According to Daima, the corporation planned to cut down the tree to pave the way for constructing a railway station in the area. 

However, activists and locals expressed their reservations against the plan. 

The locals, according to Daima, described the fig tree as an important landmark and a symbol of history in the area. 

 

A long shot of the Mugumo Tree in Gitare, Kiambu County that was allegdly  targeted by Kenya Railways to pave way for an upcoming construction of railway station.
A long shot of the Mugumo Tree in Gitare, Kiambu County that was allegedly targeted by Kenya Railways to pave way for the upcoming construction of a railway station.
Daima

In a statement seen by Kenyans.co.ke, the conservationist group claimed that Kenya Railways went on with the plan of cutting down the tree without a notification. 

It termed the move to cut the iconic fig tree as a disregard for the government's commitment to climate change mitigation and nature conservation at a time when President William Ruto had declared his commitment to enhancing Kenya's tree cover.

“It is a travesty that the sacred Gitari Kiambu fig tree is to be cut down next week, paving the way for the construction of a railway station by the Kenya Railways Authority," the statement read in part. 

Daima Green Spaces urged Kenya Railways to reconsider its stance regarding the fate of the fig tree. 

“The said stretch in Gitaru has barely any trees or green space left. By sparing this one valuable iconic sacred fig tree, we are showing love to our children and generations," reads an excerpt of the statement. 

Daima also demanded an instant halt in the plans and instead called for dialogue between the community, who cherish the tree as part of its heritage, and the government. 

In 2020, Faida, alongside other activists, was also caught in a stalemate with the government when it opposed plans by Nairobi Expressway constructors to cut down a fig tree at The Mall in Westlands.

The group succeeded in its endeavour that saw the over 100- years -old tree saved from the excavation activities conducted in the construction of the Expressway. 

The fig tree located along Waiyaki Way.
The fig tree located along Waiyaki Way.
File