As nature makes way for the Nairobi Expressway, the iconic fig tree along Waiyaki Way will not be one of them.
The tree that has been around for at least 100 years was set to be uprooted and taken to a new location, as announced by Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) in October.
The announcement sparked debate on social media with some wondering how a tree could be moved from one place to another.
Others thought it was way of embezzling taxpayers.
“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,” KeNHA said in a tweet.
But according to Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) Director General Mohamed Badi, the tree will not be cut down nor will it be moved.
Instead, the NMS boss said, the tree will be preserved following public uproar.
“The specific purpose of me coming here is to assure members of the public and all the concerned groups that this tree will be preserved… whatever that’s going to happen here will not touch this tree,” Badi said.
The military man directed his staff to build a fence around the tree and to beautify the area.
He also noted that there are plans to plant more trees to replace those cut down to make way for the Expressway.
The iconic fig tree at the Waiyaki Way-Mpaka Road Junction. NMS on behalf of H. E. The President NMS has issued a Declaration of Conservation of the Tree. First of many to follow as we strive to ensure Nairobi grows in her status, Green City in the Sun. pic.twitter.com/cEf2ZHLrht
— Nairobi Metropolitan Services, NMS (@NMS_Kenya) November 11, 2020
On matters grabbed land, Badi assured Nairobians that his administration is working towards reclaiming public land.
“As I had said before, we are going for grabbed land that had been meant for public gardens…we are going to recover Nairobi to its lost glory in terms of green spaces.”