Kenha to restore trees on road network at a cost of Sh20m

Tree planting

Kenya National Highways Authority Director General Kungu Ndungu and a Kenya Forest Service officer plant a tree during a joint exercise at Ngong Road Forest on June 10, 2022.

Photo credit: Sylvia Muia | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The authority announced that it will work on preventative maintenance on Mai Mahiu-Narok road to help reduce bridge washouts during the rainy season.
  • In Mombasa County, more than 200,000 mangrove seedlings were planted to replace those cleared during the construction of the Dongo Kundu bypass.

Kenya National Highways Authority (Kenha) has committed Sh20 million to the restoration of forest areas that were cleared and destroyed for road network development.

Kenha chair Wangari Ndirangu has said the authority has embarked on sustainable development as it continues breaking ground on more projects across the country.

Mr Wangari spoke on Friday at the first joint tree planting exercise with Kenya Forest Service (KFS) at Ngong Road Forest along Southern bypass.

“Tree planting will be done along national highway road reserves, burrow pits and any other areas agreed upon by the two government agencies. The authority has embraced tree growing along highways to safeguard roads and bridges against the effects of degradation such as floods and landslides,” said Mr Wangari.

About 2,000 indigenious trees were planted on 2 hectares through KFS ‘Adopt a Forest’ initiative that ensures state agencies plant, maintain and preserve trees in forest areas for three years as part of their corporate social responsibility activities. This collaboration is as a result of a directive by President Uhuru Kenyatta to attain 30 per cent tree cover by 2050. 

The Southern bypass cuts through the Ngong Road Forest which was partially cleared to pave way for the road that links motorists from Mombasa Road to Gitaru.

Tree planting

Kenya National Highways Authority Chair Wangari Ndirangu watering a tree at a joint tree planting exercise with Kenya Forest Service at Ngong Road Forest on June 10, 2022.
 

Photo credit: Sylvia Muia | Nation Media Group

“I must confess that I participated in clearing part of this forest. It was necessary but I came back to plant the trees that were destroyed,” said Kenha Director General Kungu Ndungu.

The authority announced that it will work on preventative maintenance on Mai Mahiu-Narok road to help reduce bridge washouts during the rainy season. The road is known for frequent floods that often disrupt transport.

In Mombasa County, more than 200,000 mangrove seedlings were planted to replace those cleared during the construction of the Dongo Kundu bypass.

KFS Deputy Chief Conservator of Drylands, Clement Ng'oriareng', and National Youth Council CEO Roy Telewa were also present at the event.

Despite Kenya's increased forest cover, a recent report by KFS indicated that Nairobi County has lost significant tree cover on major national roads such Mombasa road and bypasses constructed across the country due to modern infrastructure being set up in the last few years.

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