Development shouldn’t mean gradual death of Waiyaki Way

Waiyaki Way, Nairobi

A felled tree in the middle of the busy Waiyaki Way near Westlands in Nairobi.

Photo credit: Francis Nderitu

What you need to know:

  • The Grevillea, Nandi Flames and Fig Tree always looked really beautiful whenever we would board a matatu to go to town.
  • I have not seen those that fell down the trees on Waiyaki Way planting a seedling.

I was born and raised around the leafy estates along Waiyaki Way and I am terribly sad that the government is standing by watching the greenery along that road waste away.

Along the highway are estates such as Kinoo, 87, Muthiga, Kikuyu and Regen. These use to be quiet places. The air was always so lovely and we always ate fresh food. Lately, however, locals have complained that the roads from the estates to the main highway are full of potholes.

When it rains, the roads are muddy, slippery and can cause accidents. Despite numerous complaints and protests, nothing much has been done by the authorities. Now the community is forced to intervene and fill the potholes using stones.

There used to be pedestrian walkways on the roadside but those spaces have been taken by hawkers, stalls, and buildings.

This forces cyclists to share the roads with big vehicles, leading to accidents.

Not all people in Nairobi have cars. There are those who walk or cycle and they should not be killed in the process of trying to get to their destinations.

Finally, the most heartbreaking thing is how the government watched as road contractors cut down trees along the road. The Grevillea, Nandi Flames and Fig Tree always looked really beautiful whenever we would board a matatu to go to town.

It will be very strange for me and my friends to pass by that road and not see the trees. The government has always advised that when you cut a tree, you should plant another one its place.

I have not seen those that fell down the trees on Waiyaki Way planting a seedling.

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