Home Sci-TechEnvironment Kenya: Iconic Nairobi Fig Tree Gets Reprieve

Kenya: Iconic Nairobi Fig Tree Gets Reprieve

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The Nairobi Metropolitan Service (NMS) has abandoned plans to cut down the iconic fig tree along Waiyaki Way, a move that was meant to pave way for the Jomo Kenyatta Airport-Westlands expressway.

The tree stands on the route of the new road that is already under construction.

Upon catching wind that the huge tree, which stands almost 12 metres high with wide branches spreading above Mpaka Road and Waiyaki Way junction, would be felled, residents and conservationists took to the streets in protest.

Initially, NMS said it would lift the entire tree and plant it in another area but later on switched to preserving it at the roundabout.

Speaking during the official declaration of the conservation of the iconic tree, NMS Director-General Mohammed Badi yesterday said this was only the beginning of the efforts geared towards environmental conservation.

“There were fears from conservationists and the public that the beauty of this tree, which is over 100 years, would be gone. I am here to ensure the public that this tree will be preserved and that whatever development going on here will not affect it,” he said.

The contractor, China Roads, together with the Kenya National Highways Authority have also been directed to ensure that the tree is not touched by the construction.

NMS director for environment Stephen Nzioka read the declaration of the conservation to seal the exercise.

“This Fig Tree is hereby adopted by the Nairobi Metropolitan Services on behalf of the people of Nairobi and all Kenya; and declared and conserved as a beacon of Kenya’s cultural and ecological heritage, and as a symbol of Nairobi’s commitment to environmental conservation,” part of the Declaration read.