- The planting came after three years of efforts by communities to regreen the bypass which was completed in 2019.
- Of the 24 species planted, 22 are indigenous trees from Kenya
KURA, KFS and residents associations planted 1,600 trees along the Waiyaki-Red Hill link road on Saturday, January 21.
“We want to offset what was cleared during the building of this road, to compensate for what was lost,” Francis Kariuki, head of Nairobi Conservancy for Kenya Forest Service said.
“We don’t want to see all this red soil. We appreciate tree shade.”
Referring to President Ruto’s Special Presidential Forestry and Rangeland Restoration Programme to plant 5 billion trees in the next five years, Kariuki said “This is the beginning of better things we are going to do”.
Lawrence Wachira of Kenya Urban Roads Authority said “this is part of our effort to create climate-resilient infrastructure. Our roads are supposed to adapt to the changing climate.”
He said KURA plans to plant 1,000 seedlings along Ngong Road in March.
Trees of 24 species were planted, 22 of them indigenous. Native trees included Podocarpus, Warburghia (Muthaiga), African Olive, Polyscias kikuyensis (Mutati), and Brachylaena Huillensis (Muhuhu).
Richard Vaughan of Kitisuru Residents Association said the trees would prevent noise pollution, and Murtaza Adamji donated 24 watering cans to KFS, which has pledged to maintain the saplings since the planting is “off-season”.
Residents also pledged to give a weekly stipend to local nurseries to care for the trees.
The planting came after three years of efforts by communities to regreen the bypass which was completed in 2019.
Cathy Watson of World Agroforestry who has led planting at the Peponi road flyover said she was delighted.
“By growing trees along the road, we are increasing Nairobi’s tree cover. The trees themselves will protect nature as well as the road itself. Every afternoon where the trees are big enough, we see pedestrians sitting in their shade,” she said.
Among groups that flocked to plant were youth from Dedan Kimathi Foundation and staff of Tamarind Restaurant.