Uhuru saves 100-year old fig tree from being cut down along Waiyaki Way

Mugumo tree
A fig tree along Waiyaki Way. [Photo: Star]

President Uhuru Kenyatta has issued a directive barring the intended uprooting of a huge fig (Mugumo) tree along Waiyaki Way where road construction is in progress.

Uhuru according to Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) boss Major General Mohamed Badi

Badi while addressing the press at the site on Tuesday said Uhuru has issued a decree to conserve the tree citing that it is a symbol of the Kenyan culture.

“It is now a presidential declaration that this tree will be conserved,” Badi said.

Before the decree was issued, conservationists had campaigned against the transplanting of the tree that has a lot of cultural significance for the Kikuyu community.

A fig tree is a sacred place where sacrifices were offered in the traditional setting.

“There were fears from conservationists and the public that the beauty of this tree, which is over 100 years, would be gone. I am here to assure the public that this tree will be preserved and that whatever development going on here will not affect it,” he added.

Given the cultural significance that a fig tree holds, NMS together with the Chinese contractor building the Expressway running from JKIA to Rironi, had planned to transplant the tree.

Now, China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) – the contractor – and the Kenya National Highways Authority will reroute the road.

NMS director of Environment, Water and Sanitation Stephen Nzioka said NMS has adopted the fig tree as “a beacon of Kenya’s cultural and ecological heritage, and as a symbol of Nairobi’s commitment to environmental conservation.