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Why Kenyans are Angry With Nairobi Expressway

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Kenya tree felling sparks anger over Nairobi's new highway

Kenya tree felling sparks anger over Nairobi's new highway

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Even though the government defended the construction of the Expressway, stating it would improve the economy of the country, a section of Kenyans are angry with the project.

The environmentalists have argued that the massive cutting down of trees to finish the project could lead to a serious climate change.

According to a report published by the BBC, some 4,000 young and mature trees face being cut down to make way for a Chinese-financed project.

Rows of mainly indigenous trees that once lined the route of the new four-lane 27km (16-mile) Nairobi Expressway have been felled as construction nears completion.

The highway’s design has subsequently been tweaked – but a coalition of environmental organizations, including Green Generation Initiative and Nature Kenya, went to court in June 2020 to stop the project, arguing that it had gone ahead without public consultation.

Ornamental palm trees – some of them planted soon after independence from British colonial rule in the 1960s – have not been spared either.

The Chinese-financed highway, some of which is elevated, will link Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to the western suburbs. The expressway is intended to make it easier to cross the city and free other roads from Nairobi’s notorious traffic jams.

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