president uhuru orders preservation of iconic fig tree along waiyaki way

The Iconic Fig Tree Along Waiyaki Way>

The Iconic Fig Tree Along Waiyaki Way

by Muthoni Kimani November 17, 2020

Nairobi Metropolitan Services Director General Mohammed Badi has dismissed reports that they will cut down the iconic fig tree which they had marked for felling to pave the way for the JKIA-Westlands expressway will neither be relocated nor cut down.

Badi, who visited the site of the tree at the Waiyaki Way-Mpaka Road Junction, said President Uhuru Kenyatta had issued a Declaration of Conservation of the Tree.

Badi said;

“The specific purpose of me coming here is to assure members of the public and all those concerned from conservation that these trees will be preserved that whatever the development that will happen here will not touch these trees,”

He further stated that plans are underway to give new life to significant parks in the city so that wananchi can enjoy;

‘‘We are also in the process of revitalizing of the three main parks in Nairobi this being; Uhuru Park, Central Park and Jeevanjee Gardens to enable Nairobians have an appreciation of recreational spaces that are safe, clean and have improved aesthetics,’’

The fig tree is almost a century old, its arched branches forming a giant canopy, and has served as a landmark for generations of Kenyans in the bustling commercial neighborhood of Westlands.

A cross-section of Kenyans and conversations had expressed outrage that the highway builders had already cut down dozens of trees along the route that will also cut through Uhuru Park. Last month, Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) had said the magnificent tree that stands at the junction of Mpaka Road and Waiyaki Way would find a new home.

According to KeNHA, the move was part of its environmental conservation efforts, although they fell short of revealing where they will locate they the tree.

“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,”

Since the construction of the Express Highway began in September, several trees have been felled along the busy city roads on its path between JKIA and Westlands.