It seems Nairobi streets deserve no trees. Kenya Power, KURA, KENHA and Advertising Companies are notorious in cutting down trees along our roads in most urban areas, Nairobi being hit most. The trees do not in any way pose a threat to any development not bar any development. BUT unfortunately, their designs would not consider grown trees.
The case along Ring road Westlands is worrying. Sulekha Ali, an activist has been for years now single handedly protecting the trees from being cut. She did a petition. Went a step ahead to have an assurance from PS Julius Korir and DG Eng. Silas. The two made a commitment to spare the trees.
In Nairobi and most of the towns we have seen Kenya Power, KURA (in charge of roads, and Advertising companies putting down trees to replacing them with bill boards, electric cables and roads. This is not sustainable as the said companies have a tendency on not replacing the trees cut. It jeorpadizes the race to meet the Sustainable Development Goals.
Sulekha, an activists started up the petition to save the trees along Ring Road Parklands in March 2017. The petition attracted about 1,685 signatures on Change.org. She further reached out to the Kenya Forest Service who wrote a letter to KURA requesting to save the trees. Sulekha further influenced her neighbours at the Prestine Apartments, which borders the trees and 29 residents representing 75 percent of apartments in the complex signed a petitions to save the trees. Further, Dr Manu Chandaria added his voice by sending a letter to the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing, and Urban Development to stop the cutting of the trees. The efforts worked and the KURA DG, Mr Silas Kinoti, committed to help save the trees.
Cutting down of the Trees
Earlier this year, Kenya Power, despite the commitment, came back to put down the trees. Something that the activists intervened and it was temporarily stopped. In May 2019, Kenya Power staff decided to cut down the trees for reasons that are not clear.