17-02-2022 by Leni Frau
By the end of March, replant the trees uprooted to build the Nairobi elevated expressway. This is the diktat of the Kenyan environmental authority NEMA to the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), the Chinese company that is building the multi-million dollar "Nairobi Expressway" that will change forever not only the traffic but also the appearance of part of the city.
Along the 27 km stretch of the Nairobi Expressway, which will be a toll highway linking the capital's economic center to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, with a series of interchanges and exits, at least 3,000 trees will have to be replanted, given that during the implementation of the project 2,500 were cut down (4,000 according to environmentalists' estimates, with a serious loss of biodiversity in the metropolis).
It was the national director of NEMA, Mamo Boru Mamo who made the arrangements.
"According to the environmental impact assessment - said Mamo - the company is obliged to "green up" the areas below or on either side of the freeway, to replace and implement the tree cover, which failed during construction."
The company has already pointed out that, beyond the timing, there is already a beautification project that also concerns sidewalks with hedges, especially in correspondence with the crosswalks, as well as other initiatives.
According to the Kenya National Authority, it is not enough to replant the felled trees to restore the environment near the Expressway, but five plants would have to be planted for each one that was felled. The plants would have to be chosen according to Kenya Forest Service guidelines with respect to impact in cities.
"Meanwhile, we expect the trees to mitigate noise pollution," Mamo said, "provide the required environmental service and also improve the aesthetic value of the environment and reduce the concrete jungle.
According to a 2017 report, in 18 years Nairobi has lost 22 percent of its green space to make way for buildings and roads. An assessment by environmental groups estimates that one-third of the capital's nature has disappeared to date.
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