Oh no! Cows destroy greenery on Nairobi’s Sh97bn highway
The sight of green flowers hanging from the sturdy concrete pillars that carry the Sh97bn JKIA-Westlands highway is alluring.
The trees along the sections of the road and the complementary green grass, the ground under the highway create a rare harmony with nature in a stone jungle.
So far, so good. Today [Sunday] the cows had fun feasting on the grass and the hanging gardens.
For some time now, several motorists and residents using the JKIA-Westlands Highway have been treated to beautiful flowers blooming overnight.
Unlike typical flowers that take months to bloom, those on the highway provided road users with a natural ambiance, serenity and peace of mind at night.
The flowers are grown on pockets attached to the concrete pillars, which also allow water to flow into the highway’s drainage system.
Cabinet Secretary for Transport James Macharia said the technology used is called geo-flower and the plants are not artificial as one might perceive.
Statistics show that each kilometer of the 27km section costs around 3.6 billion shillings, dwarfing the 50km Thika highway, which was completed in 2012 and built at a cost of 32 billion shillings to 640 million shillings per km.
The flower planting is part of three greenings carried out on the highway by the Kenya National Highway Authority (Kenha).
In a previous interview, Kenha’s Deputy Director Engineer Julia Odenyo said that greening aims to prevent soil erosion, merge the character of engineering with the environment, create balance and beautify highway landscape.
“We felt that the trip should not be boring. The covering of the columns with plants gives it a soft architecture on the walls and brings a feeling of relaxation when traveling. It is also an integral part of preserving the environment, as the plants on the pillars will absorb carbon emitted by vehicles using the highway,” Odenyo said.
“They will be an integral part of the environment we find ourselves in. It is important to ensure that trees are conserved because of the contributions they make to climate change,” she added.
Photos by Stafford Ondego.