13th January 2015
An Update on the Southern By-pass
In recent years, our generous, tranquil Nairobi National Park has experienced ever-increasing human encroachment as the city outgrows itself. Its proximity to the capital has exposed the Park and its rich ecosystem to massive environmental risks due to:
Land grabbing by politically connected individuals and developers
Human settlements that continue to nibble away at the edges of the Park
Effluent discharge into Park streams and water sources
Human-wildlife conflict through subsistence poaching and grazing
Plastic litter and solid waste scattered throughout the Park
National wayleaves by government bodies for fuel pipeline passage, roads and rail.
In response to these challenges, the Nairobi GreenLine is growing trees at the fence line of the park. These trees are growing to become a forest buffer zone, to reinforce the northern and eastern park fence line, which is currently the most affected section of the park. Since the launch in February 2010, 280,000 trees have been planted, and are thriving. We have been actively participating in taking care of our environment.
The construction of the Southern By-pass inside the Nairobi Park is on- going since December 2015. Our project is directly affected by this road construction.
To this end, we have been holding meetings with senior officials at KWS, and have been guided to believe that this was their only alternative, for the greater national good.
The plan going forward is to ensure a “re-construction” of the Greenline after the road is complete. KWS will support the Nairobi Greenline to do this, and will ensure that the park buffer zone is grown to maturity.
In addition, there is an isolated “island” as a result of the road construction, located between the actual park boundary and the by-pass at the height of Wilson Airport. This island remains a part of the Nairobi Park, and the Nairobi Greenline will grow trees around it, to reinforce the fence line there.
Ultimately, the Nairobi Greenline will have a walking trail with picnic sites all through its entire stretch, so city dwellers can do a foot safari in the park. This dream is still valid. Creation of picnic sites in other sections of the Nairobi Greenline is underway.
KWS remains a committed partner to restoring the Nairobi Greenline and reinforcing sanctity of the Nairobi park boundaries.
Wanja Kimani Co-ordinator