In Summary
  • 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.

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”.

KURA Environment Officer Laurence Wachira at the tree planting on Waiyaki Way - Red Hill link road on January 21
KURA tree planting KURA Environment Officer Laurence Wachira at the tree planting on Waiyaki Way - Red Hill link road on January 21

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).

Martin Mutie from Kenya Forest Service instructs how to properly plant a tree
KFS instruction Martin Mutie from Kenya Forest Service instructs how to properly plant a tree

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.

A student from Dedan Kimathi Foundation plants a tree on a steep slope
Planting a slope A student from Dedan Kimathi Foundation plants a tree on a steep slope

Among groups that flocked to plant were youth from Dedan Kimathi Foundation and staff of Tamarind Restaurant.

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