• The ministries of Environment and Tourism, as well as the county governments need to join hands and beautify such areas and beyond through such efforts.
• The wide and long stretches of Kenyatta Avenue, or Uhuru highway can become a replica of the Avenue des Champs-Elysees in Paris, France.
While driving into Kitui from Machakos, towards the end of the stretch, you notice beautiful Flamboyant trees, lined on either side of the road.
Around November, the trees give a deep burnt orange bloom of flowers and you have a wonder of an entrance to behold, forming a fantastic atmosphere. As you gaze at these beautiful flowers, you will be overwhelmed by a special feeling, a sight that can charm any new visitor to the county.
You will notice the same on the stretch entering Diani, Kwale, where there are a series of top-star beach hotels are.
These Flamboyant trees have unfortunately been in danger in the recent past due to infrastructure development, road expansion in particular. The recent road expansion on the Machakos-Kitui road stretch offers a good example.
Nicknamed the Jacaranda City, Pretoria's suburban streets are lined with thousands of jacaranda trees. In fact it is believed that 17 per cent of all the trees in Pretoria are jacarandas. This makes for almost 70,000 purple trees to admire.
From the historic streets of the city centre to the leafy wealth suburbs of the south and east, in springtime, there are blooming jacarandas almost everywhere you look at, including a few very rare white jacarandas.
What has the city of Pretoria done with the blooming season of these trees?
It has created tourism around it, and a quick search by a tourist around the bloom season, gives you results of places to view the trees and what you need to know, what to carry, for instance cameras, and what to avoid.
Besides, Jacaranda trees are believed to have cultural, historical, aesthetic and social values for the inhabitants of Pretoria.
From the stretch of Kenyatta Avenue in Nairobi, to scattered areas around Upper Hill, and Kilimani area, you can find a few Jacaranda trees. However, you will unfortunately, hardly notice them up until the blooming season.
The trees around the mentioned areas were probably planted tens of years ago, many of them have been cut to pave way for high-rise buildings.
Even as the new administration pushes for the plantation of 15 billion trees, the ministries of Environment and Tourism, as well as the county governments need to join hands and beautify such areas and beyond through such efforts.
The wide and long stretches of Kenyatta Avenue, or Uhuru highway, given a chance with the beautiful Jacaranda tree or Flamboyant tree, can become a replica of the Avenue des Champs-Elysees, the nearly 2km main touristic avenue in Paris, France.
The North Coast main road stretch from Mtwapa area, Bamburi area through Nyali bridge to Lights or even beyond can have the Ashoka tree, a tree traditionally believed to bring prosperity, and a long heavy leafed tree with similar characteristics to the Chestnut trees in the Champs- Elysees in Paris.
History has it that the Champs Elysees originally consisted of market gardens, fields and swamplands on the outskirts of Paris. In 1616, Marie de Medici, a queen consort of France, decided to extend the garden axis of the Palais des Tuileries (a royal palace in Paris) with an avenue of horse-chestnut trees. These chestnut trees have been well maintained and are rectangularly pruned, to give the beauty they have to date.
Today it is famous for its expensive cafes, luxury shops, high-end car and rents among the highest in the world. Annual parades and celebrations are also held here, and it is just natural for any tourist to take photos on that street with the trees providing a beautiful background.
Security in the said cities, after many years of maintaining the proposed trees to be planted, to maturity, might be an issue to think about, but that will be handled accordingly come that time.
Beyond the beautification, trees will have many other advantages such as fresh air, reduce the amount of rain water runoff, which reduces erosion and pollution in our waterways and may reduce the effects of flooding.
Trees also provide food, protection, and homes for many birds and mammals, and besides, trees cool and improve the look in our environment.
This initiative will also make our generations to be more environmental- conscious citizens.
Vera is a part time lecturer and a communications researcher [email protected]