The Nairobi Metropolitan Service (NMS) announced the iconic fig tree which was earmarked for felling in Westlands, Nairobi is now safe.
NMS boss General Mohamed Badi said the century old fig tree will not be cut to pave way for building of the JKIA-Westlands expressway.
He spoke while visiting the tree located at the Waiyaki Way-Mpaka Road junction and said the President had issued a Declaration of Conservation of the Tree.
“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,” Badi said.
Badi said NMS was taking measures to plant more trees to replace those felled to pave way for the expressway and increase green spaces.
“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,” badi added.
The fig tree forms a giant canopy at its Westlands location and has been a landmark feature at the location well known by many for ages.
Conservations and a cross section of Kenyan earlier last week raised issue with its planned cutting down by Kenya National Highways Authority (KenHa).
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s order means KeNHA will also not uproot and relocate the tree as they had announced last week.
“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 had indicated then.
The expressway, whose construction started in September, is set to be finished by December 2022 and is estimated to cost Sh51-65 billion.